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NLM Launches "A Voyage to Health" Online Exhibition to Supplement the Traveling Banner Display

The National Library of Medicine has launched an online adaptation of the traveling banner exhibition, A Voyage to Health, an exploration of how the revival of Native Hawaiian sea voyaging traditions helped heal the soul of the community. The launch of the Web site celebrates the 19-year anniversary of the May 9, 1994 return of Kanaloa Kaho‘olawe island to the Hawaiian people by the United States Navy. 

This online project begins with the migration of voyagers from the South Pacific who settled on the Hawaiian island of Kanaloa Kaho‘olawe and details the loss of sovereignty and suppression of culture Native Hawaiians experienced by the US annexation of Hawai‘i. It highlights the contemporary movement to reclaim and protect Kanaloa Kaho‘olawe, and the restoration of traditional sea voyaging, which have served as unexpected catalysts of a Native Hawaiian cultural renaissance-a reconnection to ancient sources of pride and wellness.

The Web site is augmented by education resources that explore the exhibition content: two lesson plans for grades 4-8; a six-class higher education module developed by noted Native Hawaiian scholar Davianna Pōmaika‘i McGregor, PhD; two online activities; and a collection of other online resources.

A Voyage to Health was curated by Davianna Pōmaika‘i McGregor, PhD (University of Hawai‘i), Hardy Spoehr (Papa Ola Lokahi), and Maile Taualii, PhD, MPH (Papa Ola Lokahi), in cooperation with NLM Exhibition Program curator Manon Parry, PhD. The traveling banner exhibition A Voyage to Health has traveled to 17 locations in the continental United States and nine locations around the world.

Please visit the traveling exhibition services Web site for more information about A Voyage to Health.

Hokulea

Hōkūle‘a

The ancient arts of navigation and voyaging that brought the people of Hawai‘i to their island homes are being revived. As part of a wider movement to reintroduce traditional ways, Native Hawaiians are mastering the knowledge and skills of their elders. By restoring their heritage, this new generation of voyagers seeks to heal the people.

Photographed by Monte Costa
Courtesy of Monte Costa

Hokulea a returning from its first voyage to Tahiti

 Hōkūle‘a returning from its first voyage to Tahiti

Photographed by Monte Costa
Courtesy of Monte Costa

Nainoa Thompson and Mau Piailug 

Nainoa Thompson and Mau Piailug

In 1976, in an effort to reintroduce the lost art of Native Hawaiian voyaging, Nainoa Thompson began his search for a master navigator to learn from. He eventually persuaded Mau Piailug of Satawal, Federated States of Micronesia, to break with custom and teach an outsider the tradition of wayfinding without instrumentation.

Photographed by Monte Costa
Courtesy of Monte Costa

Star compass illustration

Star compass illustration

The Hawaiian Star Compass was developed by C. Nainoa Thompson, Hawaiian master navigator, in order to help train a new generation of traditional navigators.

Courtesy of Polynesian Voyaging Society


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