Maui Arts & Entertainment

International Festival of Canoes Part 1: Lahainaluna Team

June 2, 2008, 3:14 PM HST
* Updated January 4, 9:22 PM
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Hawaii’s voyaging canoe history is still practiced today by paddling clubs, and also schools who learn the art of crafting a canoe.  Lahainaluna High School is participating as carvers in this year’s International Festival of Canoes.  Jeremy Delos Reyes leads the team as they put their skills from the classroom to work on the water.  We also speak with students Michael Lloid Casichs, Kawehi Kaina, Kai Ikaika Lumlung, Ridge Lanoza, Ivan Delaney who share their inspiration and knowledge that they’ve learned.   

[flashvideo file= /] Hundreds of spectators gathered along Kamehameha Iki Beach Park in Lahaina over the weekend to witness the ceremonial Lunching of Canoes.  Master carvers from around Polynesia spent the last two weeks shaping their canoes out of raw albesia logs as part of the annual International Festival of Canoes.  It’s a celebration established to keep the Polynesian voyaging tradition alive.  Before the launch, each vessel was connected by a ti leaf rope to a stake in the ground, symbolizing its umbilical connection with the land.  The master carvers were then presented with a ceremonial adze with which to cut the chord and sever the canoe’s connection with the land.  The canoes were set free, signifying a symbolic birthing of the canoes, and the complete transformation of the trees into a functional vessel.  (Posted by Wendy Osher:  Monday, June 02, 2008)

***** If you enjoyed this post, you may also like our story on MASTER CARVERS.

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