Cultural Immersion

Our Hawaiian cultural immersion program is the foundation on which our other programs are built, and is based on our floating classroom – the Hawaiian canoe. By way of a structured curriculum which includes handouts, movies, a handbook, many hands-on Hawaiian crafts workshops, and, of course, outrigger canoe paddling, our youths’ imagination and spirit are inspired. Our program builds self-esteem, confidence, leadership, teamwork, and a healthy lifestyle in our youths. Some of the topics covered in our program are:

  • The proper names of the major parts of the Hawaiian Wa‘a (canoe)
  • The proper names of the major parts of the Hawaiian Hoe (Paddle)
  • All of the commands to paddle a Hawaiian outrigger canoe using the Hawaiian language
  • How to lash or rig a Hawaiian outrigger canoe using traditional lashing techniques with cotton cord
  • The concept of “Mana” and what it means to the Hawaiian people
  • The importance of the ti leaf in the Hawaiian culture and how to make ti leaf lei’s
  • They will learn several Hawaiian oli (chants) in the Hawaiian language
  • The importance of the Hawaiian pū (Conch Shell) and the sacred protocol surrounding it
  • How most canoes used to be made from koa trees and the protocol involved with selecting the right tree, felling the tree, and fabricating the canoe
    The ancient and more modern method of canoe blessing protocol
  • There will be periodic cultural workshops on various subjects including Hawaiian history, crafts, and language
  • Why a canoe floats (the science of displacement)
  • How the ‘ama acts as a counterweight
  • Basic human propulsion

It is this program’s philosophy, that the parent/child relationship is important and that parents have a pivotal role in conveying the Hawaiian culture to their children. We have developed a “Menehune” Overnight Camp-Out for parents and their children to share and convey a wide variety of cultural activities such as a Hawaiian Lū‘au, lei and ipu making, ancient Hawaiian games, and storytelling of Hawaiian legends. The culmination of this camp will be one of our greatest cultural activities, the use of the Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe. It is our belief that planting the seed early in a person’s life about these traditions will help nurture and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture, promote team building, strengthen familial relationships, and encourage an active lifestyle.

This program is a prerequisite for our “Mālama Maui Program”.