The Hui o Wa‘a Kaulua in Lahaina would like volunteer carpenters, woodworkers and finishers to finish building the Mo‘okiha o Pi’ilani (“Sacred Lizard of Maui”), Maui’s first deep-ocean voyaging canoe. The Hui wants to launch the Mo‘okiha at the winter solstice, Dec. 21, 2013.
They need volunteers with woodworking, carpentry and wood finishing skills to help with shelving in the hulls, constructing and installing stanchion rails and building the navigators’ seats. In addition, many canoe parts need sanding and multiple applications of varnish. The Hui also needs volunteers to make ‘ukana nets to help outfit the traditional two-mast canoe.
Final finishing–under the direction of Captain Timi Gilliom–is underway at the Hui o Wa‘a Kaulua dry dock next to Kamehameha Iki Park in Lahaina. Thousands of community members have worked on the 62 ft. deep-sea voyaging canoe in preparation for its December launch.
In addition, the Hui is looking for kupuna volunteers to provide cultural support and encouragement to their staff and volunteers.
The Hui o Wa‘a Kaulua, in partnership with other groups, runs educational programs using voyaging to excite and challenge students and their communities to learn about, respect and care for the natural and social environment. It’s the only nonprofit organization on Maui that uses a traditional sailing double-hull canoe for educational purposes. Their mission statement says they want a healthy, productive, safe Hawaii and world.
The nonprofit was formed in 1975 on Maui to support the construction of the Mo‘olele (“Leaping Lizard”), a 42-foot Hawaiian double-hull canoe with a traditional crab claw sail. Today, the organization’s main focus is educational outreach as well as the completion of the Mo‘okiha o Pi‘ilani, which has been 17 years in the making.
The Mo’okiha will be Maui’s first modern day deep-sea voyaging canoe, which will allow the community to voyage locally as well as vast distances across the Pacific Ocean. As final preparations for the launch get underway, the Hui has begun a fundraising campaign to help pay for any sails, anchors and safety equipment that volunteers can’t build by hand.
The organization’s Volunteer Work Days begin at 9am every Saturday. Those wishing to volunteer can email [email protected], call 808-667-4050 or visit the dry dock at 525 Front St. in Lahaina. Visit Hui o Wa’a Kaulua’s website (Huiowaa.org) for more information.