Mauloa Restoration Project
The Mauloa Restoration Project brings together six Master Kālai Waʻa of traditional Hawaiian canoe carving and construction, to share their traditional knowledge, skills, and practices to new apprentices by engaging in the complete restoration of the traditional sailing canoe, Mauloa. In 1993, Mauloa became the first traditionally built canoe in over 200 years. From a koa log felled with traditional adzes, then hewn with adzes, and fabricated with locally collected natural resources, Mauloa was launched as a 27-foot coastal sailing canoe named in honor of Papa Mau Piailug.
At the present time, Mauloa is housed at our
Hoea site in Hawi, Hawaii Island, and serves
as an educational demonstration for schools
and communities to illustrate traditional
resources and techniques. Mauloa presently
needs some of her parts replaced, including
cordage and a newly assembled sail. Under
the tutelage of the Masters, the new apprentices will learn the practice, demonstrate
their learning, and contribute to new canoe projects in their home communities.
This project addresses the need to save a vanishing cultural practice and re-establish the balance between kanaka, akua, and ʻāina. The restoration of Mauloa provides the teaching platform to preserve key cultural touchstones and re-build the connections communities need with their natural and spiritual surroundings.
Masters and apprentices will join in weekend training sessions in years one and two of this three-year project, to learn the protocol, the behavior, the resources, the processes, and the skills in traditional sailing canoe construction. They will gather at the project site for the weekend sessions. Community members will assist by producing the cordage and sail panels for Mauloa’s restoration, thus re-establishing these traditional practices in communities. In year three, the apprentices will conduct community projects that train others in their communities on these cultural practices.
Mauloaʻs original lauhala sail from 1993