Our ʻOhana Waʻa Throughout the Pacific

Our ʻOhana Waʻa Throughout the Pacific

Pwo Navigator, Kālepa Baybayan says that, “The crew make up for the second leg of the international Mālama Honua Voyage was made up of mostly members from ʻOhana Waʻa. We have ʻAha Pūnana Leo’s Hōkūalakaʻi crew, Kawaihae’s Makaliʻi of Nā Kālai Waʻa Moku o Hawaiʻi, Hui o Waʻa Kaulua of Maui’s Moʻokiha crew, Hawaiʻiloa, and then we had Kauaʻi’s voyaging society’s crew from Nāmāhoe.”

Since her launch in 1975, Hōkūleʻa has inspired these new waʻa communities, not only here in Hawaiʻi, but throughout all of Polynesia.

“When you match us up with our South Pacific cousins, the Tua Pittman’s and the Paiea Patai’s of the Cook Islands, Matahi Tutavae from Tahiti, and Jacko from Aotearoa, it’s been a godsend in that it’s created a much greater depth for us to pool our leadership resources from,” says Baybayan.

And we owe this growth and the revitalized tradition of Polynesian navigation to one source.

Billy Richards says that, “Hōkūleʻa, it’s the mom. Wherever you go, whatever canoe is out there, it’s mom.”

As her ʻohana continues to grow, they have formed an association, appropriately called ʻOhana Waʻa.

“ʻOhana Waʻa was meant to bring us together. Meant to bring us together. Make one strong family. Now that it’s expanded beyond Hawaiʻi. ʻOhana’s got a big reach,” says Baybayan.

Pwo Navigator, Peia Patai says that, “When Hōkūlea actually came it opened a lot of eyes and realized that we have to go back and take our knowledge and bring it back for our young ones.”

“That’s why I’m here now, Peia is here now, that’s why Jacko is here now. The Worldwide Voyage is a continuation of what’s already started years ago. It’s about being able to pass on the mantle to the younger generations that are going to be looking after these canoes,” says Pwo Navigator, Tua Pittman.

“We had always intended that the complexion of this voyage should reflect the nature of a, of a very large voyaging community coming together to support the mālama honua mission and vision. It was special because of this varied, varied audience of participants came together, basically met at the airport, arrived in Papeʻete as a bunch of individuals who really didn’t know each other, but they grew to, become this family. It’s amazing how the canoes can produce the magic of a collective, collaborative thinking. Getting everybody to come to agreement and to support a singular mission. It’s pretty awesome,” says Baybayan.

Pwo Navigator, Chadd Paishon, says that, “Hōkūleʻa has carried this mana, from the very beginning that has reconnected all of us again. Mālama honua allowed us to become clear about how we can assist and who we are as this voyaging ʻohana and everything that we do, we’re all on this waʻa together. We’re all on this voyage together. We continue to carry that message that the only way we are going to do this is if we do it together.”

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