On Saturday April 17th Hawaii came to Noosa.
The Noosa Outrigger Canoe Club was honoured to have Kawika Foster from the island of Molokai share a canoe blessing and prayer with our paddlers.
Kawika is 51st generation of knowledge passed on in the traditional manner of oral (speaking) learning from his lineage on the island of Molokai in the Halawa Valley.
The ceremony began by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land that we walk and paddle upon. This is called “protocol’ and it is an important step which connects those of this land with those of the Polynesian origins of our sport.
Kawika shared that the Polynesian ancestors were some of the world’s best navigators of the open sea, they followed the stars and navigated from island to island creating new homeland along the way. For hundreds of years at the centre of the Polynesian culture was the outrigger canoe or wa’a.
Kawika shared that It is imperative that we continue to respect the culture, the rituals, the values, and traditions surrounding the outrigger canoe.
The conch shell was blown 4 times in each direction of north, south, east and west to welcome in the energy of the directions and the ancestors from afar. Paddlers travel upon these canoes into the sea, sometimes on a short journey and other times on a long journey. The journey can be wrought with challenges as well as ease; the blessing supports the uncertainty of the journey and protects the wa’a and the paddlers.
The blessing is important to ensure that all have a safe journey and requests the return of the paddlers with feelings of empowerment of the mana (the energy) of the sea and the elements.
Before we enter the waters, the Polynesian protocol asks that we gather in a circle, that we join our hands, hearts and minds in the essence of Aloha (love) and Ohana (family), we join in unity and oneness for we are all One.
Much gratitude to Kawika for sharing his deep cultural insights and his blessing with all of us at Noosa Outrigger Canoe Club.
We will aim to continue these teachings and the honouring of the culture through our awareness and through the practice of “living the sacred teachings of Aloha’.