he wa`a he moku, he moku he wa`a
"He waʻa he moku, he moku he waʻa" simply translates to "The canoe is our island, and the island is our canoe."
Clay Bertelmann, founder of Na Kālai Waʻa, uttered these words when explaining the unique holistic nature of wa'a practices and how they relate to us individually and as a larger community. Simply put, what we do on land like we do on the canoe.
This is the vision of Nā Kālai Waʻa and the foundation of our work with our communities.
ʻOhana Makaliʻi is made up of all those individuals who together helped to make the dream of Makaliʻi a reality. We began humbly on the slopes of Mauna Loa searching for a log for Mauloa, our first canoe. Today we are over 1,000 strong.
"...kini kini..." Thousand, Thousand
A voyaging canoe is a maritime parallel to the kauhale (village) system of Hawaiʻi. The success of a canoe depends on all kūlana (roles) of society. Crew consist of lawaiʻa (fishermen), mahiʻai (farmers), kahuna pule (priests), kahuna noeʻau (craftsmen), aliʻi (leaders), and makaʻāinana (the people). The canoe presents a platform for individuals to practice their cultural lifestyle in a synergetic way. This is what makes Makaliʻi programs unique; each individual is celebrated for what they can contribute to the whole 'ohana. We are the village. What we do to survive on land, we do to survive on the canoe.
It's easy to join our ʻohana, our community. Become a volunteer, bring your school, group or organization down to visit Makaliʻi or any of our other waʻa, canoes. It just takes a little aloha.
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