March 18, 2021
Proa Progress update
Latest progress building proa. Mostly invisible, but includes painting copper green wood preservative on all, painting and fiberglassing internal compartments, hardwood hatch rim and coaming, and bunk boards. Also installed shoe onto keel. More fiberglassing and painting when hull is turned over. videos coming soon
To wantoks and relatives and friends. News update from the five survivors from Nifiloli, Veakau District, Temotu Province, SE Solomon Islands who safely landed on Maewo Island of Vanuatu. From the picture R to L Fr Joe Kavei, Nelson Au (14), John Nipe, Mathew Nokali, Paul Au(Absent). They left Utupua Island in Temotu Province to Reef Island after collecting food and betelnut. Unfortunately they met rough seas that capsized their canoe and to bail the canoe they have to untied their engine and let it go. They floated for 25 days surviving on drifted coconuts, fish and turtle before landed on Maewo, Pentecost Island of Vanuatu, on 24th February 2021, when the villagers of Ansanvari village swam out to sea to escort their canoe ashore. They are currently cared for by the chief and people of Ansanvari village residing in the custom house (Nakamal). Medical Team, covid-19 personals and immigration officers visited them on 25th February. Blood had been collected for covid-19 and results are still pending. if tested negative then before any further arrangements to fly them to Portvilla, the capital of Vanuatu for any further arrangement and repartration. My understanding is if they are in Portvilla and covid-19 test are negative and most likely, the Deputy Director General of MSG a Solomon Islander and Solomon Islands community in Portvilla would accommodate and assist them. I am hoping that SIG government is aware of their situation and would assist for their repartration and other assistance. There is no tentative date for repartration as I understand. Meanwhile, they are well and healthy under the good care of chiefs and people of Ansanvari village. On behalf of relatives and people of Veakau and Taumako I would like to sincerely thank the following people and community of Maewo and Ansanvari, Vanuatu government, SI Vanuatu community in Portvilla and elsewhere in Vanuatu, the SIG, the general public for your kind assistance rendered so far and for your wishful messages and prayers for the survivors safe landing. To my good people of Nifiloli, Veakau and Taumako and Temotu thank you for your patients, understanding and remembering them in your prayers. I personally like to say thank you to Melitus a police officer in Vanuatu for continue updating me on the current situation of our survivors. Listen out for further updates as I learn. Tagio tumas and Olie efa
TAUMAKO PEOPLE, ACTIVITIES, SITES AND CULTURE.
Thankful that 5 Vaeakau souls Survived of a month long drift voyage - Temotu to Vanuatu
February 26, 2021
February 18, 2021
Takuu man describing in Polynesian dialect very similar to Leo Taumako
In 1994, Puaria Sare agreed to explain on camera something of his knowledge about stars (nā hetū) and tides (nā tai) on Takū atoll, Papua New Guinea. The appearance and position of specific named stars and constellations are linked to weather patterns, trade winds, fishing practices and locations, phases of the moon and states of the tide. Named constellations include Amanu, Matatasi, Kamete, Na Mailapa, Tauhā, Matariki, Atoru, and Matanānui (also called Tapao). For further information, see online “Waning Stars — Changes to Takū’s Stellar Knowledge.” Journal of the Polynesian Society 112(1): 7-32, 2003
Fast paced highlights of Janusz Ostrowski’s zoom presentation about effective design proa and claw sail. English language captions. Thank you Janusz!
12 MacAir laptops, lots of educational software, all ready to connect with internet (when there is some), and ready for use by voyaging organization of Taumako. THANK YOU FRED ROSS for donating much of your time and money, and for organizing donations by Microsoft. PLEASE, can anyone donate to pay shipping costs of at least $2,500. for DHL to get this box Honiara? Taumako voyaging org leader will soon be able to return from Taumako to Honiara (bad weather for over a month) and try again to acquire relief from import duty for these educational tools. We also need a SOLAR POWER SYSTEM to run them at Taumako, and a SATELLITE connection for internet. Donate to https://www.vaka.org
February 7, 2021
This is an encouraging news for women folks to learn traditional voyaging for survival. Taumako women had been involved in building their traditional Tepuke canoe using local materials. In the past women sailed with men as crew on a male dominated culture. There are women gender specific roles in Taumako voyaging culture that women would do. For example feeding the workers, weaving the sail panels, making the cordage and rope bolt, helping the men to turn the hull and pulling it to the shore from the forest. Without women there would be no voyaging in Taumako. This article is not right that Beqa Island of Fiji women are the first Pacific Islander women to involve in traditional canoe building and voyaging. However, it is encouraging to see inclusive gender participation in canoe building and voyaging for sustainability and survival in far flung islands communities that depends on local transportation to sustain their transportation needs
January 18, 2021
Both WE, THE VOYAGERS: OUR VAKA and WE, THE VOYAGERS: OUR MOANA submitted to this culturally inclusive festival in a city of rich voyaging past.
January 11, 2021
Ocean People, Inc are making great progress building the S.V. Lata for Vaka Valo Association.
Rose pre-building hatches. Her brothers install the keel. This week the 1/4inch x 3 inch steel shoe will be added to the keel, and hatches will be glassed into place.
Thinking about VERY light green for color of the deck....
More posts about proa will eventually be made onto "vakataumako" page on
January 5, 2021
in this program are Lataʻs Heritage, Hawaiian culture,
January 5, 2021
Imagine this organization building BIG proa vessels to solve lack of suitable shipping services in most regions of the Pacific ... and provide solutions to climate change, protect biodiversity, and apply superior technology of ancient voyagers.
January 3, 2021
TAUMAKO PEOPLE, ACTIVITIES, SITES AND CULTURE.
The second and last Master Navigator on Taumako, Captain Jonas Kolanu with his dear wife Janet Longomaha. Captain Jonas had a hernia repair in 2020 and hopefully he is physically strong and healthy to teach the next generation of Voyagers. He is a student of Late Te Aliki and Grandmaster Navigator Koloso Kahia Kaveia, who graduated from Lata Navigational School. There is an imminent risk of losing the voyaging knowledge if there is no continuous learning to acquire the skills of traditional Navigational until there is a new Tepuke canoe being constructed sooner to teach NGA Taumako and other interested students.
December 30, 2020
In Taumako voyaging culture and tradition biodiversity is our survival and sustainable harvesting of plants and animals is enhanced. Perpetuation and revival of cultural knowledge and practices produces sustainability, resiliency, bio-diversity, and creative cultural responses to current and future challenges that plague oceanic peoples as well as all of humanity and our planet. We do not use epoxy, resin, or glue in canoe construction as modern builders used. A traditional paste made of plant sap and bark plagued onto the hull to prevent leakage as depicted in the photo of Tepuke.
TAUMAKO PEOPLE, ACTIVITIES, SITES
December 23, 2020
Clear description of Duffs Group by Dr Salopuka:
Taumako also known as Duff Islands is a short chain of small, broken,craggy volcanic peaks and pinnacles that are scattered for 16 miles along the southeast-northwest axis of the southern trade winds. The Island called Taumako is the biggest of these chain of Islands, then we have the Haiava, Ulaka and Bilepi chain of islands in the North West and the Lua group of Islands (Basse) in the SouthEast.
Newsletter from Outer Voices! Happy New Year Stephanie and Crew. Keep up the good work giving platform to women who do not have access otherwise
We Tell Stories
We are dedicated to weaving unheard stories from remote parts of the world into contemporary media to educate, support and inspire others to action.
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December 17, 2020
In the film We, the Voyagers: Our Moana there are animations explaining the basics of Te NohoAnga Te Matangi. The explanation begins in the first film, We, the Voyagers: Our Vaka. This diagram, is a combination of diagrams that Te Aliki Kaveia taught. He approved the rough hand-drawings I made, and Daniel Jackson made these beautiful versions. Daniel is working on more and better animations, that will be in We, the Voyagers: Our Family if we can raise the funds to make that film. There is much more to explain about this ancient navigation system.
Taumako people, activities, sites and culture
Te NoHo Anga Tematangi (wind campus) is a mental tool used for traditional navigation by Taumako way finder. It's quite difficult to understand unless one has a number of years experience at sea. Basically, the calendric seasons Tengarae (Trade wind) and Te Angaeho (Cyclone season) are demarcated by Tetokelau Tu- TeAlunga and Teulu-Laki wind positions. I understand the wind campus in reference to wind position on land coming from different positions on Taumako Island imagining one stand at Tahua artificial, Tetonga comes at Hngo Kovae then it's opposite pair Tetokelau blows inland towards at Malino. Te Alunga blows from Hngo Nakoli and it's opposite pair Te Hakahiu would be at Teava Paleonga, while Te Palapu at Hngo Foa and TeUlu it's opposite pair at Meango point. Te Laki would be felt strongly at Ngauta and it's opposite pair Te Tokelau Tu would becoming at Taumako.
and the author of this piece would be happy to discuss with the audience for educational sake of Taumako wind campus.
December 17, 2020
New report on condition of TePuke at Usili, Vanikoro. Auwe
Update of Vaka Causey Tepuke) at Usili, Vanikoro, Temotu Province. The Teama parts is rotten, lashing is worn out. Need urgent replacement depending on the hull if it is not rotten. I think it's rotting on its front
Vaka Causey Tepuke at Usili, Vanikoro, December 17th 2020. The karea side as in the picture need replacement. There are no lavihi, the Alunga looks rotten and lashing rotten. This is the only Tepuke that we have sail training and if the hull is rotten then may need to construct another Tepuke
December 1st, 2020
Some nice news as we near the end of a challenging year.
The editorial board of the Journal of Pacific History are delighted to announce Lars Eckstein and Anja Schwarz as the winners of the journal's 2019 Best Article Prize for their groundbreaking article The Making of Tupaia’s Map: A Story of the Extent and Mastery of Polynesian Navigation, Competing Systems of Wayfinding on James Cook’s Endeavour, and the Invention of an Ingenious Cartographic System.
Better yet, Anja and Lars have decided to donate their AU$1,000 prize courtesy of
- dedicated to continuing the documentation of ancient voyaging knowledge and practice.
Do go check out the work of the team at the Vaka Taomako Project and if you still haven't read the article, it's available in open access via the following link: https://www.tandfonline.com/.../10.../00223344.2018.1512369
A version is also available in French via the
November 22, 2020
Main hull and interior fiberglassing 1st layers of proa S.V. LATA for Vaka Valo Association of Taumako to support training of youth in traditional vessels, Imua Ocean People (Mann Family) !
November 19, 2020
UNESCO wants to learn of voyaging groups who use ancient designs, methods, materials and tools for building vessels and for navigation to distant islands. They want this info very quickly. So now I to try to contact people and compile it!
1) Can you tell me names and current contact info for this type of voyaging groups? or any Masters of ancient arts who need to form a group?
2) What does your own groups need to be able to teach more of the ancient arts?
3) What is needed in your group, or area, to support females in practicing and learning the skills, stories, songs, protocols, etc.that were/are traditionally for women? for example:. payments to Masters of these arts to teach girls, and any communications, travel and administrative costs to make this happen? a dedicated, sheltered space for women and girls? make these part of school curricula/lesson plans?
Just a list is fine... Or detailed statements that I can draw from if that is what you have handy. But keep in mind that the aim here is to state the needs of remote and unaided folks who have been very limited opportunity (or none) until now to participate or benefit from programs or projects that have mostly been organized by groups located in bigger, more industrialized, islands..
thank you, Mimi. write to email
November 17, 2020
I Vola Sigavou will arrive Suva in morning. Congrats on successful completion of Homecoming Voyage to Lau
DRUA Voyage update -
Drua “I Vola Sigavou “ and her crew are 9nm away from the passage
We see home !!!
They will anchor for the night at sand bank then head to the Royal Suva yacht club tomorrow morning.
Spirits are high and all is well on board.
Stay tuned for more..
November 14, 2020
We, the Voyagers: Our Vaka has been selected for DWBFF. Awards will be announced, May 2, 2021. Hoping this will bring backing to distribute both "Our Vaka" and "Our Moana" films, and for Vaka Valo Association filmmakers to complete production of part 3, We, the Voyagers: Our Family
November 13, 2020
THANK YOU Omidyar Ohana Fund of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation (HCF) for a $10,000. grant, and Pam Omidyar for a $15,000. grant! These funds support Vaka Valo Association as it begins phase 2 of meeting the 4 goals we announced in July 2020. Here is what was accomplished during August - October, and what is now planned toward each goal, with a tentative timeline for accomplishing each :
1) Vaka Valo Association meetings to plan building a permanent roofed Canoe House for the Cultural Voyaging School, with solar power system (there is no electricity, phone, or other communication service there), office, archive, video lab, student accommodation, and internet communications. This facility would support Taumako voyaging education programs and enable acceptance of foreign students into those programs.
Because of COVID delays in government functions, the Acting Executive Director of Vaka Valo Association, Captain Luke Vaikawi, has not been able to travel from Honiara to Taumako yet. He is standing by for a November ship to make a trip home for meetings of VVA members and board of directors. Ambrose Miki has been funded to go to Vanikoro to confirm the condition of the TePuke damaged by the cyclone in March. Directors will discuss options for rebuilding or building anew in collaboration with Taumako technical experts and other islanders eager to learn to build a vessel for their communities. Vaikawi and other VVA Directors will seek a site, design, and local materials availability for building the Halevaka structure. Applications are being made for donations and installation of satellite communications and solar system.
2) Meetings to plan building, or rebuilding, a voyaging vaka. It may be a very small one at first, but eventually Vaka Valo Association aims to replace the large TePuke destroyed by a cyclone in March.
When and how to do this awaits decisions by VVA board members at the Taumako meeting and an assessment of the damaged TePuke at Vanikoro.
3) Upgrade capacities to complete the third and final part in the "We, the Voyagers" film series in 2021-22, to be distributed worldwide.
The VVA, appointed videographer, Daisy Mahaina. Mahaina completed her class in filmmaking and has been in Taumako for a month attempting to film what is needed to create and edit part 3 of the We, the Voyagers film series (see then on Vimeo or through https://www.vaka.org ) The tentative name of the film is We, the Voyagers: Our Family. After 4 months of trying to get documents from government offices closed by COVID rules or missing their workers, VVA was able to receive camera and communcations equipment, including what Daisy is using. There is more to be sent, including 12 laptops, but the expenses of importing the equipment and transporting it to Taumako is so high that we are delayed in sending the boxes to Solomons.
4) Complete building an escort vessel to accompany the new TePuke (currently under construction in Honokaʻa, Hawaiʻi Island
Construction has proceeded on schedule. The 11.6 meter long proa design, with 15hp diesel that freezes a fish hold, is completely planked. The completion date is still March, 2022, unless we can raise enough funds soon to speed it up.
November 13, 2020
Pasifika FF has many wonderful films now online! Both feature length We, the Voyagers films are in the Documentary section. Here is the festival trailer...
November 2nd, 2020
Canoes near Kalo/Hula, 1890s. The photo was found in an album in an unsorted box in the Anglican Archives at UPNG. Thank you to Jan Hasselberg for working out that the photographer was very likely R.E. Guise, an English planter based at Kalo who married locally. After Guise's death, his three children were raised at Dogura under the care of the Anglican mission. Sir John Guise, the first Governor-General of PNG, was Reginald Guise's grandson.
November 13, 2020
Arica Film Festival has a big selection of Native/Indigenous films. If you want to watch and vote for We, the Voyagers: Our Vaka in the Nativa Pelicula category, here is the link: https://www.aricanativa.cl/competencia
Big thanks to Jorge Rodriguez - Roda and his cousin for translating the captions into Spanish language! If you want to see in English, German, or Polish languages just choose on CC. Vietnamese version halfway completed and Mandarin has only a few details to be finished.
November 8, 2020
WE, THE VOYAGERS: OUR VAKA and WE, THE VOYAGERS: OUR MOANA to the IMEFF because ancient cultural knowledge, wisdom, and relationships with oceanic phenomena can help save us/our planet
Nov. 2nd, 2020
Meet the crew of Lata, November 7th
Includes exclusive introductory video by director Mimi George!
We are the living crew of Lata, the Polynesian culture-hero who built the first voyaging canoe and navigated across the Pacific. We use only ancient designs, materials, and methods, and we invite everyone to reconnect with ancestors and sustainable lifeways.
-Introduction by director Mimi George (5 MIN)
-We, the Voyagers: Our Vaka (57 MIN)
-We, the Voyagers: Our Moana (57 MIN)
Ticketed Event: Member $5 | General $10 | Ticketholders will receive a private link and unique password to view the online presentation at 12:30 PM on the day of the program.
TICKETS: Online or onsite. Questions? E-mail or call 714.567.3677. Proceeds benefit Bowers Museum Education Programs. Tickets are non-refundable
Enjoyed presenting to the Explorers Club of No. California. Talked about lessons learned from various practitioners of ancient voyaging knowledge - to give context to We, the Voyagers films
October 31, 2020
October 26, 2020
Latest photos of constructing the S.V. Lata. Ocean People Inc (the Mann Family) are on schedule for early 2022 completion. So we are raising funds to buy the safety and communications equipment, and to pay travel costs for some Taumako crew to come to Hawaii to train at maintenance and sea trials, then deliver this 11.6meter long proa to Vaka Valo Association of Taumako in May, 2022.
October 25, 2020
Thank you ICA Film Festival - for accepting OUR VAKA in ICSFF, and also for entering our poster in the Best Poster Award contest.
And also submitting WE, THE VOYAGERS: OUR MOANA, part 2 of the doco film series. Any and all donations or awards from these films go to support Vaka Valo Association voyaging culture programs of Taumako.
October 17, 2020
WE, THE VOYAGERS: OUR VAKA was just selected for Cutting Edge International Film Festival. They like films with new talent, new content, and deep meanings.
October 12, 2020
Another GRAND PRIZE for We, the Voyagers films from the great ARKHAIOS Film Festival. We loved every film in this festival. Thank you ARKHAIOS !
September 26, 2020
Live Q&A with Mimi George, co-Director of We, the Voyagers, Grand Prize winning Feature Film
Join Mimi George, co-Director of We, the Voyagers, the Grand Prize winning Feature film at the 5th annual IMFF.
Marianne “Mimi” George, PhD, is a cultural anthropologist and remote, blue-water sailor who supports revival of ancient voyaging practices. George documented the articulation of spiritual power in the ritual cycle of Austronesian people of Papua New Guinea: the experience of a small, mixed gender group wintering a sailboat in frozen in Antarctic sea-ice and doing scientific projects and as photographer for National Geographic Magazine; ancestral voyaging connections of sea-hunters and herders both sides of Bering Straits; and the efforts of Polynesian elders to continue an unbroken chain of training new generations to build and navigate using only ancient materials, designs, and methods in the SE Solomon Islands. George cruised, raced and delivered sailboats for 15 years, sailed with Dr David Lewis for 13 years, and with Paramount Chief Koloso Kaveia for 16 years.
Ocean People builders made 2 beautifully curved stem assemblies for proa SV LATA
September 21, 2020
September 11, 2020
Here is a link to all the films to be screened online in the 2020 International Maritime Film Festival September 25 - 27. Both We, the Voyagers films won the Grand Prize for feature film. Both will be screened in sequence. In a short introduction and special interview we will fully acknowledge the great filmmaking work of Taumako leaders, actors, writers, directors, producers, narrators, and translators. We are fundraising for Taumako filmmaker Daisy Mahaina to create the final film in the 3 part series.
5th Annual International Maritime Film Festival
September 4, 2020
This photo shows the frames aligned for the strongback of the 11.6 meter long main hull of the proa LATA. Next week Ocean People of Honokaʻa Hawai`i Island will begin planking the hull. We are fundraising for airfares and safety equipment for some Taumako crew to come to Hawai`i to learn maintenance and sail her home to Taumako.
August 24, 2020
Wind names on Vanikoro island (Solomons)
This map shows the names I collected for winds in Teanu, the main non-Polynesian (Oceanic) language of Vanikoro island, in eastern Solomons.
Most of these names are clearly borrowed from a Polynesian language – due to the long tradition of seafaring upheld by Polynesian navigators until recently. The island's Melanesian population, established there since early times (Lapita?), must have once lost their ancestors’ longhaul seafaring technologies – including wind names. When Polynesian navigators came into the Temotu region, a few centuries ago, Vanikoro islanders borrowed from them the whole system of wind names again.
August 17, 2020
Model of Tepuke Canoe from Taumako
Amazing what Kyle made from combining some photos. This model was made by the late Abraham Maone of Taumako. There are others, like Fox Boda, who make fine models on order, or for their grandchildren to learn with.
August 13, 2020
Artist-programmer Kyle McDonald, Daisy Mahaina from the Vaka Valo Association (a community-led Pacific Islander traditions society, based in the Solomon Islands), and cultural anthropologist and sailor Dr. Marianne George are undertaking an examination of natural phenomena with supernatural undertones. Their project will use new technologies to document ancient Polynesian navigation techniques, including “Te Lapa”: a faint burst of light that emanates from land, but has never been recorded.
The project aims to build a custom camera rig that can sense this very faint light, and capture the first-ever video of Te Lapa. Documentation resulting from the project will serve as a pedagogical tool. McDonald, Mahaina, and George’s project is called Te Lapa: Polynesian Navigation Illuminated.
August, 11 2020
This August 9th photo shows the arrival of 6 people back home in Reef Islands...nurses and school workers. In early June they departed Ndeni Island for Reefs in bad weather. They swamped in heavy seas and drifted until coming ashore at Ulawa in late July. The Provincial Member has pledged to provide a new boat (about 7 meter fiberglass canoe) and engine. This is why a 38ʻ (11.6 meter) proa that can sail and have 13 hp auxiliary diesel power will be so helpful for Vaka Valo Association and for people of Temotu Province.