25th Anniversary of Mauloa Canoe Islandwide Sail

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Nā Kālai Waʻa and the voyaging canoe Makaliʻi along with its ʻohana is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Mauloa, the first canoe built with traditional means, this September with an islandwide sail around Hawaiʻi Island.

Makaliʻi and Mauloa will be at the following locations:

  • Sept. 3 through 15 – Hilo
  • Sept.18 through 20 – Miloliʻi, Honaunau
  • Sept. 21 through 27 – Keauhou, Kona
  • Sept. 28 through 30 – Keauhou, Kawaihae

The community is invited to visit with Mauloa and Makaliʻi while they are in these locations. Activities with cordage making and lauhala weaving are available for groups who schedule a time with the canoes.


Come and learn more about the canoe Mauloa through panel presentations with the carvers of Mauloa along with a video presentation of the construction of Mauloa.

These presentations are scheduled for Sept. 27, 6 p.m. at the Sheraton Keauhou Resort.

Come and learn more about the traditional methods that were revived and utilized for the construction of Mauloa canoe.

The community is invited to visit with Mauloa and Makaliʻi while they are in these locations. PC: Ka‘ea Lyons

For more information, or to schedule a visit with your school, group or organization, email [email protected] or call (808) 885-9500.


This event is made possible with the support from Project Hanauna Ola (an Administration for Native American’s grant program), The Sheraton Keauhou Resort, the Grand Naniloa Hotel, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Nā Kālai Waʻa is a nonprofit organization committed to the perpetuation of canoe culture here in Hawaiʻi.

The community is invited to visit with Mauloa and Makaliʻi while they are in these locations. PC: Ka‘ea Lyons


In the late 1980s, the Polynesian Voyaging Society set out to find Native Hawaiian trees to provide logs for the construction of a new voyaging canoe. This was an NHcap project that would build the voyaging canoe Hawaiʻiloa. It was soon determined that Hawaiʻi’s native forest could not provide these resources, and logs from Alaska were given for Hawaiʻiloa’s construction. A group of young Hawaiian men, however, were determined to construct a canoe with native materials by ancient methods. With the guidance of Master Pius Mau Piailug, Kumu Kealii Taua and local kūpuna, these men were able to construct Mauloa using only traditional tools, materials, and methods. Mauloa’s construction began in 1991 with the felling of a koa tree in Keauhou forest, Kaʻū by means of prayer and adze. She was completed in 1993 at Honaunau and launched as a vessel for education and cultural perpetuity for our community.

These young men, often referred to as the cowboy crew, were given the official title of Nā Kālai Waʻa, the canoe carvers. They formed their own 501c-3 organization based on Hawaiʻi island under the name Nā Kālai Waʻa in 1993 after their successful launch of Mauloa. Nā Kālai Waʻa then went on to build the Makaliʻi voyaging canoe in 1995, Hokuliʻiliʻi in 1999, and Aligano Maisu in 2007. Nā Kālai Waʻa, through their canoes have been continually offering community education programs since 1995. Contact the organization today to schedule a program with your school, group or community.



Project Hanauna Ola: Sustaining the Generations Through Voyaging is a program of Nā Kālai Waʻa supported by the Administration of Native Americans, Department of Health and Human Services for the United States. Project Hanauna Ola’s goal is to restore and perpetuate Hawaiian cultural knowledge and practices that support our physical, spiritual, and psychological health and well-being through voyaging. This three-year project will culminate in Makaliʻi’s next voyage to Mokumanamana in Summer 2019.

To prepare for this voyage the project is training over more than 30 crewmembers in voyaging and leadership skills to perpetuate practices of navigation and sailing traditional canoes for another generation. In addition over 300 community members from 10 different schools island wide and other community organizations are growing foods and materials to provide provisions and ceremonial cordage for the voyage to Mokumanamana. These activities encourage the crew and community to engage with their environment, to actively grow and adapt healthier lifestyles of eating and living, and to develop community voyagers, while perpetuating the voyaging practices for all.

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