WALL 5: VOYAGING ~ E OLA KA HONUA! O WAU KA HONUA!
LONG LIVE THE EARTH! I AM THE EARTH!
CHADD ‘ONOHI PAISHON is the highly respected Captain of the Big Island’s voyaging canoe, Makali’i and Executive Director of the Waimea based voyaging and education organization, Na Kalai Wa’a Moku o Hawai’i. Chadd is a Master Navigator under Master Papa Mau Pialug. He is a beloved teacher whose dedication to bring forth love and care of the ocean and the Earth knows no bounds.
POMAI BERTELMANN is a beloved local and global educator, cultural advisor, Ohana Wa’a member, Hokule’a and Makali’i crewmember and Captain. Pomai’s family has been instrumental in establishing Na Kalai Wa’a community and building the Big Island’s 54’ double hulled voyaging canoe, Makali’i to educate people from around the world to Malama Honua. An inspiring local teacher, Pomai is dedicated to the perpetuation and restoration of the native forests, and activating local and global sustainability.
MILTON “SHORTY” BERTELMANN is the co-founder of Na Kalai Wa’a Moku o Hawai’i, a Mentor Captain, canoe builder, and Master Navigator with 32 years of apprenticeship under Master Papa Mau Pialug.
He is President of the Board of ‘Oiwi, dedicated to restoring and sharing ancestral knowledge. He is the older brother of Clay Bertelmann. From 1994 - 1995, Shorty and Clay led the effort to build the 54-foot voyaging canoe, Makali‘i for the Big Island. The canoe was launched in 1995 at Kawaihae under a double rainbow, a great blessing!
ELEMENTS: High noon. The kupuna stand in a teaching stance, Pomai may be holding a young Koa tree to express the essential connection of the wa’a to the forest and the essence of He wa’a he moku. He moku he wa’a.
ESSENCE: The Ancient Hawaiians were master navigators and highly skilled mariners with powers of observation of ocean conditions and seasonal changes second to none. They navigated throughout all Polynesia using their knowledge of the elements, and keen observation of the Sun, stars, winds, waves, clouds, ocean life, and seabirds. Made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the vast reaches of the central and southern Pacific Ocean, Polynesia is considered by some to be the biggest country in the world, with 600 times more water than land.
VOYAGING RENAISSANCE: Thanks to artist Herb Kane, waterman Tommy Holmes, California surfer/anthropologist Ben Finney PhD, and the early students of navigation, the art/science of celestial navigation, as taught by Papa Mau Pialug, has returned to Hawai’i and gone around the world. The journey began in 1975, a time of cultural extinction and pain for the Hawaiian people. The revival started with the construction and celebrated maiden voyage of the double hulled canoe, Hokule’a to Tahiti. Later, directed by the crystal vision he had of the Earth from space, Hawai’i born astronaut, Colonel Lacy Veach called to his friend, Nainoa Thompson to chart a path around the world to sail and spread the knowledge that it is time
to unite to take care of this fragile living Earth. Now, we celebrate the successful journeying of the navigators around the world, in seas that Polynesian voyagers have never seen.
ELLISON ONIZUKA (1946 – 1986) Here, in the heavenly realm, we will symbolically honor a different kind of voyager for whom the Kona Airport is named. Born in Kealakekua, Astronaut Ellison Onizuka was the youngest son of Masamitsu and Mitsue Onizuka. A graduate of Konawaena High School, the first Asian American and first Japanese person in space, he successfully flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery STS-51-C, bringing his abundant aloha spirit into space. In 1986, Mission Specialist Onizuka was lost in the Challenger tragedy. before. MALAMA HONUA ~ THE WORLDWIDE VOYAGE was the single most epic sailing journey ever undertaken. The journey gained international media attention, sparking connection to and global understanding of the practice of MALAMA ~ to take care of, HONUA ~ the Earth, our home. This panel honors the world’s greatest navigators and the renaissance of the Hawaiian culture.
Everything is connected. Without the forest, there are no canoes or voyages. Pomai emphasizes the connection of the voyagers to the forest, the mighty Koa tree, the ‘aina (land), and the imperative to restore the native forests.
He wa’a he moku, he moku he wa’a.
TRANSLATION: The canoe is our island, and the island is our canoe.
MEANING: There are finite resources aboard a canoe, an island, and on our island Earth.
We must work together to conserve and share all that nature provides for us.
To love and take care of oneself, one’s people, and the Earth is everything. Long before
there was sustainability, there was Aloha ‘aina (love of the land). What you call resources,
we know as relatives. All life was experienced as one. The rocks, the soil, trees and plants,
and the creatures in the sea are our ancestors. They had to come into being first to create a
healthy atmosphere and nourishment for the people to live.
Master Navigator, Nainoa Thompson
Without navigation, there is no culture.
We spent the first forty years showing the world that we are master navigators.
Now we must spend the next forty showing them that we are master naturalists, land managers, and agriculturists.
Art and Soul for the Earth
Big Island of Hawai'i