Carving the Waʻa Community

Carving the Waʻa Community

“I started to bring that canoe down here. The first year it was like, just rubber band together. And people said, ʻHo man! How are you going to repair this?ʻ Then we brought it last year, it was a little better, and today I have it here again for its third time,” said canoe carver Bobby Puakea.

A canoe that was rebuilt by strong, yet loving hands, and brought to the hearts of the community who would launch Hoʻola at the fifth annual canoe festival at Kualoa Beach Park.

“To be launched from here, where Hōkūleʻa was launched some years back, I felt that it was just like an honor to be here and to launch her here,” said Bobby.

A mutual feeling for the Hōkūleʻa crew who believes that Hoʻola, as its name suggests, is a testament for the bigger picture that Uncle Bobby stands for.

“I think it’s awesome for someone like Uncle Bobby to be here. H e brings a lot of that kind of the old time knowledge. And then as far as leadership, it’s nice to see the younger people here that are learning from people who are really interested in sharing their knowledge and passing it on so that we have this continuance of our canoe culture,” said Kaʻiulani Murphy, a navigator with Hōkūleʻa.

“To keep our canoe culture alive, we are actually carvers,” said Bobby.

And Uncle Bobby, Hōkūleʻa, and other leaders of ʻike waʻa are doing just that. They are carving and building a larger waʻa community.

“And our community is interested, I mean they’re coming here on a rainy day. It’s a nice mellow event. So it’s just another good gathering of people,” said Kaʻiulani.

“I guess the word is educate, especially our young people. Perpetuating our culture. Whether it’s the canoe construction, kalo, whatever. Our young people, our young children need to know about that,” said Bobby.

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