This page outlines the context and details for many of the Voyaging Societies that exist throughout the Pacific. Due to the large number of societies and related bodies based in Hawai’i, these organisations are listed in the first section, while those located in throughout the rest of the Pacific Islands are listed further down.
Hawai’ian Voyaging Societies & Organisations
Ohana Wa’a – Canoe Family, Hawai’i
In response to the rapid growth of voyaging programs, Hawaiian voyaging leaders gathered at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in 2006 to create an organization, the ‘Ohana Wa‘a, Canoe Family, established to unite and move an from a league of independent voyaging organisations to an established voyaging alliance to fuel a voyaging movement.
Leadership: Billy Richard | Naʻalehu Anthony |Kaʻiulani Murphy
The Polynesian Voyaging Society
Founded on a legacy of Pacific Ocean exploration, the Polynesian Voyaging Society seeks 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, each other, and their natural and cultural environments. The society was founded in 1973 by nautical anthropologist Ben Finney, Hawaiian artist Herb Kawainui Kane, and sailor Charles Tommy Holmes to show that ancient Polynesians could have purposely settled the Polynesian Triangle using non-instrument navigation.
Na Kalai Waʻa Moku o Kauaʻi – Kauaʻi, Hawaii
With a legacy of ocean exploration as its foundation, the Nāmāhoe is committed to undertake voyages of discovery (Holokai); to respect, learn from, and perpetuate through practice our heritage and culture (‘Ike); and to promote learning which integrates voyaging experiences and values into quality education (Ho‘ona‘auao). We are committed to nurturing communities and the leadership therein that values learning and sharing knowledge in order to foster living well on islands.
Friends of Hokuleʻa and Hawaiʻi Loa – Oʻahu, Hawai’i
The Friends is a non-profit organization dedicated to the perpetuation of Hawaiian canoe building traditions and values through the preservation and development of canoe building resources. By building, maintaining, and restoring canoes, the Friends hope to improve understanding and appreciation for this unique Hawaiian heritage, not only for Hawaiians, but for any person interested in learning.
Hui o Wa’a Kaulua – Maui, Hawai’i
The Hui o Wa’a Kaulua (“Assembly of the Double-Hull Canoe”) is a non-profit organization formed in 1975 on the island of Maui to practice, perpetuate and educate the community on Hawaiian canoe building, wayfinding and voyaging arts. It is the Hui o Wa’a Kaulua’s mission to conduct model educational programs to excite and challenge the youth and their communities to learn, respect, and care for their natural and social environment.
Hoku Alakaʻi ʻOhana – Hawaiʻi
The deep-sea voyaging canoe Hōkūalaka‘i, “Guiding Star,” is the fifth double-hulled voyaging canoe built in Hawaiʻi. She was launched in 2004. Hōkūalakaʻi is dedicated to perpetuating the Hawaiian Language through its practices onboard and off. She is currently managed by the ʻAha Pūnana Leo.
Na Kalai Waʻa – Hawaiʻi
Na Kalai Waa is an education-based, non-profit organization dedicated to the maintenance of cultural values and customs through the teaching and application of non-instrument navigation and open-ocean voyaging. “He waʻa he moku, he moku he waʻa” simply translates to “The canoe is our island, and the island is our canoe.” Clay Bertelmann, founder of Na Kālai Waʻa, uttered these words when explaining the unique holistic nature of wa’a practices and how they relate to us individually and as a larger community.
Leadership: Chadd Paishon | Shorty Bertelmann | Pomai Bertelmann
Voyaging Canoe: Makaliʻi, Alingano Maisu
Address: P.O. Box 6248, Kamuela, HI 96743
Email: email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org |email@example.com
Waialua – ʻOhana Waʻa – Oʻahu, Hawai’i
Leadership: Kimo Lyman
ʻOhana Waʻa Hilo – Hawaiʻi
Leadership: Ah Lun Yung | Kaimana Bacarse
Address: 934 Kalanianaʻole Avenue, Hilo, HI 96720, c/o Ah Lun Yung
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com
ʻIosepa Voyaging ʻOhana – Oʻahu, Hawai’i
Leadership: Kawika Eskaran |Kamoaʻe Walk | Tuione Pulotu
Voyaging Canoe: Iosepa
Address: 55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762, c/o Kawika Eskaran.
Eʻala Voyaging Academy – Oʻahu, Hawai’i
Leadership: Kaina (Nakanealoha) |Holomalia |Sam Kapoi
Coastal Sailing Canoe: Eʻala
Address: P.O. BOX 687 WAI`ANAE, HAWAII 96792
ʻOhana Waʻa Molokai – Molokai, Hawai’i
Leadership: Penny Martin |Kawika Crivello | Mahina Hou
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org |email@example.com
ʻOhana Waʻa Lanaʻi – Lanaʻi, Hawai’i
Leadership: Sol Kahoʻohalahala
Address: POB 630044, Lānaʻi City, HI 96763
ʻOhana Waʻa Maui a.k.a Maui Voyaging Ohana – Maui, Hawai’i
Leadership: Snake | Myrna Ah Hee| Archie Kalepa
Address: 33 W Aipuni Pl, Lahaina HI 96761, c/o Myrna Ah Hee
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com
South Pacific Voyaging Societies & Organisations
Cook Islands Voyaging Society
The Cook Islands Voyaging Society Inc. was established as a non-profit organisation in 1992 after the 6th Pacific Arts Festival held on Rarotonga, Cook Islands. The vaka ‘Te Au o Tonga’ was built by the Cook Islands Voyaging Society, under the leadership of the canoe builder & designer, Sir Thomas Davis, in 1994 – to participate in a joint voyage with other Polynesian canoes to Hawaii and as a vessel to carry out the aims of the Cook Islands Voyaging Society (CIVS). In 2012 Deiter Paulmann, of Okeanos of the Sea Foundation, gifted the Vaka Marumaru Atua to the people of the Cook Islands in recognition for the contributions that the society and its members had made towards the Te Mana O Te Moana voyage.
Hawaiki Rising Voyaging Trust
The Hawaiki Rising Voyaging Trust was established with the vision of connecting young people with Māori and Pacific culture, the natural world and ultimately themselves. In 2014 The trust was privileged to acquire the waka ‘Hinemoana’ as the vessel for strengthening our people and our communities.
Uto Ni Yalo Trust – Fiji
The Fijian canoe is named Uto ni Yalo which quite literally translates ’Heart of Spirit.’ “Maroroya na wasawasa, na wasawasa e na maroroi iko” roughly translates, “Care or look after the ocean, and the ocean will look after you.” Fiji is just one of the many voices in an ocean of wilderness, sounding a trumpet of caution against over-harvesting of our marine resources. Like other smaller countries in the South Pacific, Fiji faces imminent danger of depletion of its valuable marine stocks resources to commercial fishing – something that has sustained them for thousands of years.
Samoa Voyaging Society
The Aiga Folau o Samoa or Samoa Voyaging Society (SVS) was established in 2009, its to firmly re-establish traditional voyaging as part of the Samoan cultural and national heritage. SVS aims to engage the people of Samoa, especially the youth, to contribute to sustainable development and the preservation of the Samoan marine and land environment. SVS believes that by engaging in programs that promote ocean and land conservation, and traditional sailing and navigation skills, they can contribute positively to the growth and preservation of Samoan culture development and create leaders in environmental and cultural conservation.
Te Matau a Māui Voyaging Trust
Te Matau a Māui Voyaging Trust was formed in 2013 by a small group of experienced ocean voyaging sailors trained in the practice of traditional navigation and Polynesian sailing. Our vision is to develop, educate and promote all aspects of waka voyaging within Aotearoa, Ngāti Kahungunu and the Hawke’s Bay community, so that the knowledge is passed on to future generations. The Trust operates Te Matau a Māui a waka hourua (traditional double-hulled sailing vessel), which is permanently berthed in the Ahuriri Harbour, Napier. Te Matau a Māui (the fish-hook of Māui) is named after the Hawke’s Bay area where, in legend Māui foul-hooked the North Island with the jawbone of his grandmother.
Leadership: Chairman – Piripi Smith
Voyaging Canoe: Te Matau a Māui
Address: 304 Fitzroy Avenue,Hastings 4153 Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
Faafaite te Ao Maohi – Tahiti
The vaka ‘Faafaite’ is owned and operated by the Association Faafaite i te Ao Maohi which is a non-profit organization created in March of 2009 and registered in Papeete, Tahiti (French Polynesia). It is used for educational purposes as well as for tourism operations.
Kalauni ‘O Tonga, Tonga Voyaging Society
Kalauni ‘O Tonga has been established in order for Tongans to work together to reclaim their ancient heritage as a voyaging nation and encourage interest in protecting the sea for future generations through education and experience.