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Project Holokai provides opportunities for Hawaiʻi Island students to experience the canoe and the teachings of open-ocean voyaging and non-instrumental navigation throughout all seasons. 

Students and teachers can meet throughout the year with the captains and crew of Makaliʻi who will

provide hands-on canoe activities that will connect them to the waʻa and prepare them for a sail. 

Cultural experts and community resources will enhance the learning sessions and provide rich stories

of the canoe and sailing.  Students will learn the history of the canoe and experience the meaning of

“He waʻa he moku, he moku he waʻa” (The canoe is our island, our island is the canoe). 

(press the play button to watch the video, press the white arrow on the left side of the video to view images)

Holokai Objectives


He waʻa he moku, he moku he waʻa

To introduce Nā Kālai Waʻa, the moʻolelo of

voyaging, and basic safety and sailing skills


Mālama Makaliʻi

To teach the reciprocal relationship between

kanaka and the canoe–Mālama aku, mālama mai


E Lauhoe Waʻa

To teach life skills through leadership

activities on the canoe


I Ola ʻOe I Ola Kākou Nei

To teach community stewardship through

activities that manage and maintain the

natural resources of Hawaiʻi.



To share skills and knowledge by

participating in a coastal sail


Hokuliʻiliʻi's Restoration 

Students and crew have been working on the restoration of the double-hulled coastal sailing canoe Hokuliʻiliʻi.  In this video, students along with Makaliʻi's Captain Kealiʻi Maielua work on gluing down the stingers, laying down thin sheets of fiberglass, and coating it with epoxy.

You can watch other videos of the restoration process in our "videos & more" tab

Holokai students with coastal sailing canoe Mauloa

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