Te Kāpehu Whetū: Inspirational Education
With the art of wayfinding as the guide and the waʻa kaulua as their platform, the crews of Hōkūle’a and Hikianalia are inspiring new educational strategies in communities around the world.
“So when we frame our thinking around the voyage, we have our two canoes, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia, voyaging around the world. Our goal is to see what the voyage inspires in terms of a worldwide movement.” says Learning Center Director for the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Miki Tomita.
Named for the star compass used by Maori navigators, Te Kāpehu Whetu, is exploring a new model of education centered on the principles of traditional wayfinding.
Education Specialist, Daniel Lin says that, “This school was given its name by uncle Hector and their theme is navigation – idea of voyaging. Itʻs really this idea of exploration, of personal exploration, but also connecting to a global community of global exploration.”
The crews of Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia visited the school to share with the students their experiences aboard the waʻa thus far.
“It was probably more of an honor for us to have crewmembers from Hikianalia and Hōkūleʻa at our kura today. We have a big philosophy around our sailing waka, around the philosophies of what they bring for us. So it was really a honor.” says Ralph Ruka, a teacher at Te Kāpehu Whetū.
“These students have been seeing a lot of the footage that weʻve been putting out and a lot of the information. Theyʻve tracked our voyage ever since we left Hawaiʻi. They expressed this keen interest in not only what weʻre doing on a base level, but really to kind of get deeper. And so, in a way, this is the culmination of a long inquiry throughout what weʻre trying to do. I think theyʻll get to see and touch all things that theyʻve been learning about, and this will solidify to them that it is real.” says Lin.
“To come down here and talk to our uncles and to see what actually happens on the waka will definitely inspire them. Hopefully give them a bigger picture of our of our waka voyaging world.” says Ruka.