Cape Town, South Africa - A Ceremony of Friendship was held Saturday afternoon in Cape Town, South Africa celebrating the historic arrival of the Hokulea.
The crew traveled 41 days and over 2,800 miles from the Mauritius islands to reach the destination.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu greeted and engaged the crewmembers and the Hawaii delegation. Tutu sailed on the Hokulea in 2012 during his visit to Hawaii.
Themed Crossing Oceans and Connecting People, Hawaii to Cape Town the ceremony featured greeting chants and a prayer of blessing followed by traditional South African performances and hula by members of the Hawaii delegation.
"The voyage of the Hokulea reconnects us to each other on a primal level, it talks back to our oneness, to the starting point of our interconnectedness and our human journey," said Reverend Mpho Tutu, executive director of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.
Throughout their visit in Cape Town members of the Hawaii delegation will engage local youth to share about the Worldwide Voyage and present traditional dances and games. Community members will also be welcomed aboard the voyaging canoe to learn about traditional navigation and Hawaiian culture.
Visits to the local schools and canoe tours support the mission of Malama Honua.
"We want to honor and pay tribute to what we have that we sometimes don't pay close enough attention to," said Patrick Gaspard, U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, to the Hokulea crewmembers. "You remind us that we got to take care of our oceans, our environment, our traditions and find ways to pass them onward."