26.3.2016 / Maui, Hawaii

I mentioned in my last post the utter remoteness of Hana. At Hana Bay, the use of traditional Polynesian-style canoes is still very vivid today. The early Polynesians were highly skilled sailors and navigators who sailed thousands of miles over open water between the Society Islands, the Marquesas, Easter Island in the East, the Hawaiian Islands in the North, and New Zealand in the Southwest. Scientists and historians believe that navigation was accomplished primarily by a thorough knowledge of the stars, their rising and setting points along the horizon and their meridian passage as a function of latitude. Of course, there were other indicators in nature that helped guide them: the winds, the waves, the ocean swells, cloud formations and smoke from the volcanoes (especially on the Hawaiian Islands) as well as birds and fish. On a more spiritual level, the demi-god Maui, especially, was known for such astronomical deeds as snaring the Sun to slow its passage across the sky, or of fashioning a magical fishhook (recognized in Western astronomy as the stinger in Scorpio) to fish up the Hawaiian Islands out of the deep ocean.


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