Categorized | Education, Featured

Hilo Wayfinding and Navigation Festival at Imiloa

Imiloa Astonomy Center of Hawaii hosts the second annual festival dedication to wayfinding and navigation. (Photo courtesy of Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii)

Imiloa Astonomy Center of Hawaii hosts the second annual festival dedication to wayfinding and navigation. (Photo courtesy of Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii)

MEDIA RELEASE

No GPS needed. Follow the stars to Hawaii at the Second Annual Hilo Wayfinding and Navigation Festival, hosted by Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, Oct. 16-18.

This festival celebrates the historic feats of Pacific navigators and current day efforts to revive and expand celestial navigation skills and interest in long distance deep-sea canoe voyaging that connects the many indigenous island communities in the Pacific Ocean.

All events are free and take place at ‘Imiloa, which will have several ocean navigating canoes on its lawn for visitors to experience.

Highlights of the festival will include three significant workshops, including Sunday’s “Navigator’s Roundtable: Stories from the Sea” bringing together a panel of distinguished, senior leadership from the voyaging community, including panelists Nainoa Thompson, Kalepa Babayan, Chad Paishon, Shorty Bertelmann, Bruce Blankenfeld, Dennis Chun, Billy Richards, Abraham Ah Hee, Katherine Fuller, Kai‘ulani Murphy, Na‘alehu Anthony, and Pomai Bertelmann.

Former TV news reporter and voyaging member Elisa Yadao will moderate the panel.

Another highlight this year will be the free Hilo-premiere showing of the documentary film, “Voyagers,” which is based on the book by and the artwork of famed Hawaiian artist Herb Kawainui Kane.

The compelling story of the first Polynesian migrations northward into the expanse of the Pacific and the first landfall in the archipelago now known as Hawaii is beautifully told.

The film drew sell-out crowds when it showed in Waimea earlier this year. To accommodate crowds, “Voyagers” will be shown at 1 p.m. Sunday in two venues: Imiloa’s planetarium and also in its Moanahoku Hall.  Seating will be on a first-come, first served basis.

Following the show, filmmakers Paul and Lorraine Mecca will discuss the production of the film.

“The Wayfinding and Navigation Festival is a celebration of our Hawaiian heritage, culture and traditions,” said Kaiu Kimura, associate director for Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii. “It is a unifying legacy that we proudly share with other Polynesian cultures in the Pacific. Wayfinding and celestial navigation is an ancient knowledge that shows us the power of human initiative and intuition, before modern navigation systems became available to explore the unknown.”

Each day during the three-day festival, visitors will be able to visit several voyaging canoes, which will be on display on the lawn in front of Imiloa.  Crewmembers from the canoe voyaging community will be on-hand to answer questions.

From 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., learn how to do knot-tying used on the canoes, how to do degree measurements using stars and one’s hands, sing canoe mele and see a hull cross-section.

At 11 a.m. there will be garden tours and at noon a presentation on the Hawaiian star lines in the Planetarium.

The three-hour documentary on Mau Piailug, Micronesian navigator from Satawal will be shown over the three days – from noon to 1 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

In addition to the Sunday Voyaging Leadership Panel, the panel from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, will focus on “Literature, Song & Chant” with Kalena Silva, Larry Kimura, Hiapo Perreira and Carlos Andrade. This discussion will be conducted entirely in Hawaiian with English translation provided on audio headsets.

The Saturday panel from 1 pm to 3 p.m. on “Personal Discoveries of Kanaka Maoli Kilohoku” will be facilitated by astronomer Paul Coleman and will include Rubellite Kawena Johnson, Emil Wolfgramm and Carlos Andrade.

These free activities offer unique opportunities to learn about the rich contemporary culture of the Pacific canoe community, as well as its historic roots.

PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES

Friday, Oct. 16

– All day:  Four large voyaging canoes in full regalia on display on Imiloa lawn

– 10 -11:45 a.m.: Hands on activities in Moanahoku Hall (knot-tying, degree measurement, educational work station with a hull cross-section, etc.)

– 10 a.m.: Hawaiian Starlines in the planetarium

– 11 a.m.: Canoe Plant Garden Tour led by Don Romero

– Noon – 1 p.m.: Hawaiian Starlines presentation in Planetarium and “Mau” documentary (Part 1)

– 1 -2 p.m.: “Wayfinders” documentary

– 2 -3 p.m.: Canoe Lashing Demonstration

– 3 -4 p.m.: Traditional chants/protocol related to blessing & launching a canoe

Saturday, Oct. 17

– All day: Four large voyaging canoes in full regalia on display on Imiloa lawn

– 10 -11:45 a.m.: Hands on activities in Moanahoku Hall (knot-tying, degree measurement, educational work station with a hull cross-section, etc.)

– 10 a.m.: Hawaiian Starlines

– 11 a.m. Canoe Plant Garden Tour led by Don Romero

– Noon – 1 p.m.: Hawaiian Starlines presentation in Planetarium and ‘Mau’ documentary (Part 2)

– 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Listen to the Hawaiian Astronomy Panel speak (Panelists: Paul Coleman Rubellite Kawena Johnson, Carlos Andrade and Emil Wolfgramm)

Sunday, Oct. 18

– 10 -11:45 a.m.: Hands on activities in Moanahoku Hall (knot-tying, degree measurement, educational work station with a hull cross-section, etc.)

– 10 a.m.: Hawaiian Starlines

– 11 a.m. Canoe Plant Garden Tour led by Don Romero

– Noon – 1 p.m.: Hawaiian Starlines presentation in Planetarium and ‘Mau’ documentary (Part 3).

– 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.: ‘Voyagers’ documentary in planetarium

– 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Paul & Lorraine Mecca speaking on the production of ‘Voyagers’

– 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Listen to the Navigators Panel speak (Panelists: Nainoa Thompson, Kalepa Babayan, Chad Paishon, Shorty Bertelmann, Bruce Blankenfeld, Katherine Fuller, Kaiulani Murphy, Pomai Bertelmann and Shantell Ching)

For more information on the festival, visit www.imiloahawaii.org or call 969-9700.

The festival will include hands-on experiences. (Photo courtesy of Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii)

The festival will include workshops, demonstrations and opportunities to learn about the culture of the Pacific canoe community. (Photo courtesy of Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii)

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