HONOLULU – The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) today celebrated the official launch of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, a 47,000-mile open-ocean journey of two wa‘a (Hawaiian voyaging canoes) around the world. Mālama Honua, which means “to care for our Earth,” is the Hawaiian name for the voyage, whose mission is to find and grow sustainable practices that inspire others and protect our earth for future generations.
The two wa‘a sailing on the voyage, Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia, will be guided by a crew of skilled navigators using ancient Polynesian wayfinding techniques , observing the stars, ocean, wind and birds, as mapping points for direction.
“As we embark today, we are honored to begin this journey as a critical movement towards a more sustainable world,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “Mālama Honua allows us the special opportunity to perpetuate the legacy of our ancestors and act as true stewards of the earth, sharing our aloha for our environment while nurturing, cultivating and discovering global solutions and relationships.”
Throughout the voyage, crewmembers will educate communities and students of all ages, from Hawai‘i to New Zealand, utilizing Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia as “floating classrooms” to share knowledge through educational opportunities and partnerships. The program seeks to support and cultivate the next generation of navigators and explorers – helping young crewmembers to embody and value the lessons of Mālama Honua that will continue to thrive long after the wa‘a and crew return home.
“The State of Hawai‘i applauds the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the countless volunteers, crewmembers, and partners of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage for their truly remarkable and courageous efforts to take our cultural knowledge and values to the sea and around the globe,” said Hawai‘i State Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui. “Mālama Honua will be a symbol of our cultural pride in every part of the world it visits, educating communities about the importance of appreciating and protecting our earth.”
The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage will visit 85 ports and 26 countries, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017. The first stop for Hōkūle‘a and Hikianallia is Tahiti, with a target arrival date of June 2014. The voyage is made possible by many community sponsors and partners, including Hawaiian Airlines, the University of Hawai‘i, Kamehameha Schools, the James and Abigail Campbell Family Foundation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and many more.
About the Polynesian Voyaging Society
The Polynesian Voyaging Society was founded in 1973 on a legacy of Pacific Ocean exploration, seeking to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and
care for themselves, one other, and their natural and cultural environments. For more information about the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Worldwide Voyage, visit www.hokulea.com.