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Polynesian Voyaging Society established

Prompted in part by the debate among Thor Heyerdahl and others about the origins of Polynesians and their ocean voyaging abilities, three friends hatched an idea for testing their own theories. Ben Finney, a University of Hawai'i anthropologist, artist-historian Herb Kane, and Tommy Holmes, former director of the Hawai'i Maritime Center, founded the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) in 1973 hoping to prove that Polynesians were capable of purposeful voyaging. They built a performance-accurate voyaging canoe, the Hokule'a, and set about relearning non-instrument navigation. The projects involved delving into Hawaiian voyaging knowledge passed down through chants as well as drawing on the expertise of other groups and individuals throughout the South Pacific. PVS built a new voyaging tradition, sponsoring educational voyages among the Hawaiian Islands as well as long-distance voyages through Polynesia, and inspired an even larger cultural revival through the success of their canoe projects. The resurgence in interest in voyaging has sparked relearning traditional hula, chant, agriculture and aquaculture, healing arts, history and language.

 Sites for further information

The Offical site of the Polynesian Voyaging Society
www.pvs-hawaii.com

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