Indigenous | Pacific

Indigenous navigators collaborate on wayfinding mātauranga

FestPAC 2024 has brought more than 20 Pacific cultures together in Hawaii for the quadrennial event, but it’s not just performances that are on display.

Master navigators and carvers are sharing their indigenous knowledge, meeting at a convention on the North Shore of Hawaii in Kualoa.

Tūranga Kerr, one of the Māori navigators in attendance, said sharing knowledge with Pacific cousins is vital to keeping the practice and knowledge alive.

“I am deeply committed to this knowledge that I have gained throughout my upbringing,” he says.

“I have been blessed to spend time in the waters of Hawaii here in Kualoa, and I’m happy to be able to showcase to the world the vastness of the Pacific Ocean and the beauty of the journey to Aotearoa.”

Juan Iorcoleman from the Northern Mariana Islands was one of many navigators in attendance at the event.

“We are here to represent our seafaring heritage and to meet up with all our cousins from across the Pacific in exchanging knowledge and wisdom of our ancestors in the areas of navigation, canoe building, sailing, all of those kinds of thing.”