The Worldwide Voyage is about more than just traditional knowledge or sailing the Pacific in canoes. Through this voyage, many peoples are connected, and awareness for the Earth’s incredible oceans is brought into sharp focus.
Ever since the maiden voyage of Hōkūle’a in 1976, the village of Tautira on the northeastern shore of Tahiti has been Hōkūle’a’s second home. “The people of Tahiti gave us a great gift when we made that first landfall,” says navigator Nainoa Thompson. “They told us that we are family and to be proud of who we are as Pacific people.”
Thousands of years ago, Hawai’i was likely first settled by Polynesians that sailed from Tahiti to the new island homeland of Hawai’i. As Pacific Island “cousins”, they share a similar language, the same names for sacred places, and similar cultures—navigating by the stars, waves, and other traditional means core to the origins of both Tahitians and Hawaiians. The Tahitian and Hawaiian ohana, or family, continues to grow stronger because of the ocean, which connects rather than divides them. Hokulea has, for four decades, been the new cultural bridge between these islands 2,500 miles apart.