The Polynesian Voyaging Society was founded in 1973 for scientific inquiry into our history and heritage: How did the Polynesians discover and settle small islands in ten million square miles of ocean, geographically the largest “nation” on earth? How did they navigate without instruments, guiding themselves across ocean distances of 2500 miles? In 1973-1975, we built a replica of an ancient double-hulled voyaging canoe to conduct an experimental voyage from Hawai‘i to Tahiti in order answer these questions. The canoe was designed by founder Herb Kawainui Kāne and named Hōkūle‘a, Star of Gladness.
In the last three decades, Hōkūleʻa has sailed over 140,000 nautical miles throughout the Pacific including Rapa Nui and Aotearoa to complete the Polynesian triangle. She has inspired a renaissance of Pacific island navigation and since her launch 1975, there are now 25 voyaging canoes, 21 voyaging organizations and 1,000 active voyagers throughout more than 11 Pacific Island nations.
- Maiden Voyage: Hawai’i to Tahiti
- Hawaiians 1st Navigation: Hawaiʻi to Tahiti
- Voyage of Rediscovery: Aotearoa
- Closing the Triangle: Rapa Nui
- Malama Hawai’i: Statewide Sail
- Malama Honua: Hawai’i to Tahiti