A warm welcome: Arrival of Hokuleʻa, Hikianalia celebrated in Tahiti
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hokule’a and Hikianalia have made landfall in Tahiti.
The sister canoes arrived in Papeete over the weekend. The crew received a warm welcome from the local community and several notable dignitaries, which included French Polynesia’s president Édouard Fritch.
Traditional ceremonies were also performed including hula and other cultural exchanges.
Their arrival in Tahiti is significant, as it commemorates Hokule’a’s special relationship with Tahiti as it was the canoe’s first destination in their maiden voyage 46 years ago.
“We are reviving the spirit of unity of the Polynesian peoples,” President Fritch said with the arrival of the canoes.
The Polynesian Voyaging Society also says this journey is a precursor to their upcoming Moananuiākea Voyage in spring 2023. In that sail, the crew plans to circumnavigation the Pacific Ocean.
“We are about to embark on the largest voyage ever done, Moananuiakea, which will focus on bringing together the Pacific islands for the oceans,” Polynesian Voyaging Society CEO Nainoa Thompson said. “I can’t think of a better place to start this voyage than in this place of our ancestors where the relationship to nature, oceans and culture is so strong,” he added.
Hokule’a and Hikianalia crews are expected to depart Tahiti on May 20, and return to Hawaiʻi mid-June.
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