Festival Poster. Credit: ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center

Experience the “Spirit of the Wayfinder” at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s 8th Annual Wayfinding & Navigation Festival sponsored by the Ama OluKai Foundation. The annual community festival explores the art and science of oceanic wayfinding, the traditional Polynesian system of navigating the open ocean without the use of modern instrumentation.

Themed “He Waʻa He Moku, Honoring the Spirit of the Waʻa and the ʻĀina,” this full-day event takes place on Sat., October 24,  at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Special keynote presentations will focus on the ‘āina (land) and the waʻa (canoe) as interconnected symbols of cultural identity and pride. Presenters will explore how the ‘āina gives life and spirit to the waʻa, and how the waʻa in turn inspires to care for ourselves, each other, and our natural and cultural environments.

Under the simulated night sky of the ‘Imiloa planetarium, experienced navigators from the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage will unlock the secrets of the stars that guide them along their journey. Activity stations set up throughout the ‘Imiloa Exhibit Hall will focus on critical aspects of open ocean sailing that all crew members are required to complete—packing gear, calibrating your body to become a measuring tool, tying knots, etc.—to challenge attendees to see if they have what it takes to be a deep-sea voyager. Each participant who successfully completes all crew requirements will receive a prize for becoming an “‘Imiloa Crew Member”! Rounding out the day will be climb onboard tours of Hilo’s own inter-island voyaging canoe, Kiakahi, on the ‘Imiloa lawn.

For more information on the festival, please visit the website at www.imiloahawaii.org or call 808-969-9703.