On October 10th, 2018, Hula Anyone (Kahi ‘Uhane Kihei Pua) was honored to take part in a ceremony to greet the Hikianalia as the voyaging canoe and her crew arrived at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum in Oxnard, California. For many of us this was something we will never forget, with each of us taking something very unique and personal away from the day. Below are some of our dancers’ thoughts and favorite memories from being able to take part in this experience.
Hikianalia, a wind- and solar- powered wa’a (canoe), and the Polynesian Voyaging Society crew has journeyed more than 2800 miles from the Hawaiian Islands to San Francisco, down the California coast using science and sustainable technologies. They are discovering stories of hope, sharing them with students and learners of all ages.
On October 10th, Hikianalia came to Channel Islands Harbor where she was greeted with a water spout, multiple canoes, & boats. Welcoming chants and songs from Julie Tumamait-Stensli & the Barbareno/Ventureno Band of Mission Indians (Chumash), oli by multiple hālau. Our hālau, Kahi ‘Uhane Kihei Pua, was honored to dance Aloha ‘Āina & Waika at the ceremony and hope to continue learn from their Mālama Honua campaign. - Eileen
Dancing for the Hikianalia was such a beautiful experience. And I can’t explain in words how thrilled and excited I was to be able to meet the crews. Seeing the boat land on the mainland washed over a huge wave of aloha and admiration. And it made me realize how lucky I am, to be able to be with such amazing people. I would like to thank everyone who made the evening so memorable. - Hana
It was a honor to be part of a beautiful ceremony. - Harumi
Hikianalia was scheduled to dock at Harbor Village in Ventura, CA on Saturday, October 6. Due to unforeseen weather, she arrived Sunday morning, just before her scheduled time of 8am. As I was walking down toward the dock, I saw that she was making her approach! I ran excitedly down to the dock to greet her, along with other people, and the energy was unreal! Hikianalia and her crew were greeted with chants and prayers from the local Chumash tribe, along with 3 local hula halau, who later gave the gifts of dance to the crew. Then on Wednesday, October 10, Hikianalia and her crew arrived at the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, CA. It was an amazing feeling to be within inches of this beautiful vessel docking right in front of us! Once again, she and her crew were greeted with chants and prayers, but this time we were blessed to present the gifts of dance to the crew. It was truly an honor to be a part of Hikianalia’s California journey not once but twice. My heart is still full from these events! - Emy
Hikianalia, majestic, brave, a true beauty - Alma
When the Native Chumash elder was speaking, praying, giving thanks to Mother Earth, to the North, South, East, and West, to our elders, I felt like time stood still. I felt so connected to our ancestors, to the earth, to Nature, to all of us and each and every person I’ve met and had contact with....
During the prayer of Thanksgiving, we sat cross legged on the sidewalk, listening to the Elder’s words of wisdom. Jackie reached over to me and whispered, “Don’t move.” I turned to her and realized what she was talking about. A black and gold butterfly, had landed on my skirt, rested there for quite a while, and then I moved and it flew away. This butterfly was the exact same color(s) as my pa’u skirt!
Jackie said, “OMG! Did you see it! The butterfly had landed on your skirt! The trippiest thing is that it was the exact same color as your skirt! It totally blended in!”
At that time I was feeling totally present and connected. I told Jackie that I’ve come to know that the butterfly is my Native “spirit animal” and whenever I see them, I am reminded of my ancestors and experience their presence, particularly my beloved Mother who passed in 2010. The feeling was so strong that I was moved to tears, and so was my hula sister Jackie.
All I can say is that the experience of greeting the Hikianalia and dancing for her crew was a deeply spiritual one for me.
The captain of the Hikianalia quoted a proverb from my Tutu’s book ‘Olelo No’eau #258: “He Wa’a he Moku, He Moku he Wa’a.” (A canoe is an island, an island is a canoe). He introduced his crew, noting what each person’s function/duties were. Each crew member brought onto the boat only what they needed, no more, no less. In order to sail successfully, They all have to work together in harmony.
The canoe itself an exact replica of the canoes of ancient times, and had navigated from Hawai’i to San Francisco, traveling down the CA coast; the crew navigating by the position of the stars, noticing the trade winds, waves, and patterns of birds’ flight, as our ancestors did.
The message of Aloha, of Malama Honua (conveyed by the voyage of Hikianalia and her crew) was loud and clear, “take care of our land and oceans! Take care of each other! Ask permission to take from Earth’s bounty: Take only what you need, give thanks/ offer blessings, and share whatever you have.” Again, I was humbled to be a part of this historic event, truly honored to perform for the crew, and never prouder to be a Native Hawaiian, Practitioner of Aloha. Imua! - Cami