Na Kalai Waa Moku O Hawaii — Makalii
After 10 years of sailing the Pacific, the Makalii continues to be the focal point and primary classroom for Na Kalai Waa Moku O Hawaii, a non-profit organization that conducts community educational programs utilizing Hawaiian voyaging and non-instrument navigation as its foundation. Hundreds of students have learned the art of celestial navigation upon this double-hulled canoe that embodies all aspects of Hawaiian cultural traditions and practices and manifests “technology at its best” in ancient times.
During 1994 and 1995, Waimea brothers Clay and Milton “Shorty” Bertelmann, with assistance from community and cultural organizations, led the efforts to construct Hawaii Island's first voyaging canoe in centuries, the Makal‘i, which is the Hawaiian name for the celestial constellation known as Pleiades.
Na Kalai Waa’s educational programs are geared to students of all ages and ethnic backgrounds who come from places near and far to experience what it takes to walk in the footsteps of the ancient Hawaiian sea voyagers. Activities include oral histories, the practice of cultural values, learning traditional chants and dances, the study of canoe technology (past and present) and learning non-instrument navigation.
Students also learn traditional star names and constellations, weather forecasting, ocean forms and wildlife, seamanship (including knots and rigging), survival training and safety procedures aboard the canoe. All elements of traditional study are supported by the use of modern instrumentation and computers with internet access.
Currently, Na Kalai Waa is undertaking the building of another voyaging canoe as a gift to Grandmaster Navigator Pius Mau Piailug. The Ku Holo Mau Project is giving back to the man who is credited with bringing back traditional voyaging to Polynesia.
Please join me in supporting this non-profit by donating. Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) for your kindness.