Navigating with Ancient Maori Knowledge – The Waka Tapu voyage

On 17 August 2012, two traditional double-hulled Māori sailing canoes – built by internationally respected Hekenukumai Puhipi (Hector Busby) – departed Auckland and sailed 10,000 nautical miles return to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) before returning to Doubtless Bay on the east coast of the Northland Region.

The objective of Waka Tapu was to close the final corner of the Polynesian Triangle – defined by Hawaii in the North, New Zealand in the South-West and Rapa Nui in the East.

This was the first time this voyage had been completed in modern-day history. As a result, the principal waka, Te Aurere, was consecrated or made ‘tapu’, hence the project name – Waka Tapu.

The voyage was unassisted by modern technology, the navigators guided only by the habits of the stars, sun, currents, birds and moon.

Read the full article on the websites of the New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute.

About the source: The New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute (NZMACI) is the home of the national schools of carving (including pounamu and bone) and weaving. NZMACI also operates the national school for canoe construction which is based in Doubtless Bay on the east coast of the Northland Region.