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Ku holo mau : honoring our father, Papa Mau

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Item Summary

Title: Ku holo mau : honoring our father, Papa Mau
Authors: Lincoln, Blossom Pualani
Keywords: voyaging
Issue Date: May 2013
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2013]
Abstract: The voyaging canoe Makaliʻi, though made of fiberglass and non-traditional materials, belongs to a moʻokūʻauhau that traces her lineage to the matriarch of all modern voyaging canoes in Hawaiʻi, Hōkūleʻa. Built in 1975, Hōkūleʻa intended to prove wrong all theories of drift and accidental settlement of the islands of Moananuiākea. Often referred to and considered a scientific experiment, Hōkūleʻa was designed to the blueprints of a traditional canoe hull, built of contemporary composites, and various parts lashed together by hand. At the culmination of her construction Hōkūleʻa was launched on the shores of Kualoa, Oʻahu.
An event that humbled and prided our lāhui as centuries had lapsed since such an occurrence had been witnessed in Hawaiʻi. The trial was incomplete without a navigator, and as none could be found or agreeable to participate throughout the pae ʻāina o Hawaiʻi, the search continued on throughout the erroneously designated "Polynesian Triangle" and then on to include the vast Moananuiākea.
The Polynesian Voyaging Society, the organization that spearheaded the initial project, worked closely with David Lewis, a resourceful yachtsman recognized for his extensive research on navigation in Moananuiākea. It was Lewis who knew of and approached the traditional navigator Tevake of the Santa Cruz Islands, a small atoll considered a "Polynesian" outlier. Tevake, in his seventies, did not fully decide upon his participation with the project, yet several months after the Society's request, he bid his family farewell and set sail, never to be seen again.
A disadvantage at the time of the original search for a navigator was the ignorance of the organization and several of its leaders, who were defining the voyaging histories of a Native people within the imaginary lines of demarcation, set by European explorers. If the project was truly intended to prove the abilities of a Native seafaring people, the methodologies used to establish the venture should have been that of a Native perspective. Not being able to use Tevake forced the search committee to look beyond the boundaries of "Polynesia." Though disappointed in the flaw of their experiment, we now benefit from it as we have been reminded that the origins of our kūpuna extend well beyond the inaccurate divisions of Moananuiākea still used today.
Fortunately the quest led to Pwo Pius "Mau" Piailug, a young master of navigation from the island of Satawal, who agreed to serve as the navigator for Hōkūleʻa's maiden voyage to Tahiti. As the months neared the journey, Papa Mau worked closely with the crew, predominately consisting of Kanaka Maoli watermen that had committed themselves to the revival of an ancient practice that the hulls of Hōkūleʻa would soon house. Amongst the determined men and women who contributed to what is now recognized as the vanguard of the Hawaiian Renaissance was a quiet, humble native of Waimea on the island of Hawaiʻi, Milton "Shorty" Bertelmann. From their initial introduction to each other Papa Mau and Shorty's relationship was grounded in their natural ability to be intimate with the environment that surrounded them. As is the custom of most masters of tradition, Papa Mau saw commitment and longevity in Shorty and immediately invested in his navigational training. Shorty became Papa Mau's first student of Hawaiʻi, whose natural ability was indisputable, as a descendant of ancient voyagers he was simply tapping into his ancestral memory, a vault of way finding experience and knowledge. Shorty's passion for voyaging grew with every nautical mile he sailed, and eventually began to impact his immediate ʻohana and community. Soon it was a family affair, as Shorty's older brother Clayton Bertelmann joined Hōkūleʻa's crew and immediately fell in love with the voyaging canoe. By the mid-1980's, the brother duo was serving as navigator and captain aboard the vessel that they would fondly refer to as "Māmā" to their future students.
Description: M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:M.A. - Hawaiian Studies

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