Did you know that sailing across the ocean in a voyaging canoe isn’t just something Moana did in a Disney animated feature? And that some of Maui’s Wayfinding teachings are inspired by real-life Polynesian navigational techniques?
It’s true. All of it.
Welcome to true stories of Hōkūleʻa – Hawaii’s voyaging canoe – as told by her crew, our real-life Moanas. Traditional wayfinding had gone extinct in Polynesia until Hōkūleʻa was built by the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) in 1973.
With hard work and sacrifice, Hōkūleʻa and her crew became the first to navigate across the seas as their ancestors did over 600 years ago, using only traditional wayfinding techniques. Read more about Wayfinding like Moana here.
Feel the cool sea breeze brush across your face. Smell the salty mist as waves lap against your canoe. Squint into the mesmerizing glare as a thousand blazing suns reflect off the water. See the possibilities beyond the horizon, where the sky meets the sea. Be as one with the ocean, and the myriad of species she nurtures within her. This was the inner calling of a Wayfinder named Moana.
This was also the calling of ancient Polynesian voyagers who populated the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Europeans who ‘discovered’ the Pacific islands (on their large ships) found it miraculous that the Polynesian islanders had sailed thousands of miles across open ocean in canoes. They navigated without GPS. Or a sextant. Or a compass.