If Hōkūleʻa had anything to do with the transformation of the role of Native Hawaiians in their own homeland, and we see Herb as the as the father of the canoe. If that’s the case, then Herb is the father of the renaissance.
– Nainoa Thompson, Master Navigator
The Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation honored Herb Kawainui Kāne as its 2011 Kamaʻāina of the Year for his contributions in reviving Hawaiian culture as an artist, historian, and author. As one of the founders of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Kāne was instrumental in the revival of non-instrument navigation, which had been lost in Hawaiʻi for centuries. Following traditional designs, the deep-sea canoe Hōkūleʻa first travelled to Tahiti in 1976. In the subsequent years, the vessel linked the islands of the Pacific and will soon circumnavigate the globe. This revival of ancient wayfinding inspired a cultural reawakening among Native Hawaiians as interest in hula, language, education, arts, and self-determination flourished. Although he is most well known for fantastic paintings depicting ancient Hawaiʻi, Kāne’s greatest legacy is his influence on the generations of Hawaiians who continue to practice their culture.
About the Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation
The purpose of the Foundation shall be to preserve and encourage the preservation of historic buildings, objects, communities and sites relating to the history of Hawai‘i; to promote awareness of and respect for all that is historically significant and architecturally distinctive in our State; and through these efforts, to keep alive and intact for the enrichment of present and future generations the inherent beauty of the Hawaiian Islands and its unique historic role in the development of the Pacific Basin.
For more information, visit the Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation website.