Nainoa Thompson draws crowd for exhibit opening

Nainoa Thompson, executive director of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, spoke Sept. 17 at the Kaua‘i Museum as part of the unveiling of “Pulama Ia Na Koa O Kai” (“Cherish Our Warriors of the Sea”). The exhibit features vintage photographs and news articles, a replica of the Hawa‘iloa, canoes and paddles.

Wearing a T-shirt, jeans and a pair of worn rubber slippers, Thompson spoke to a crowd of more than a hundred people about his experiences voyaging the Hokule‘a and Hawai‘iloa using ancient Polynesian practices.

“I don’t know who I would be without (voyaging),” Thompson said. “I had extraordinary teachers and mentors.”

Part of Thompson’s lecture was imploring young adults to join the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

“I’m too old to do things I’ve already done,” he said, before adding “we have to close the gap between people who have access to quality education and those who do not.”

“Pulama Ia Na Koa O Kai” is open through Oct. 17 at the Kaua‘i Museum in Lihu‘e. For more information about the exhibit call 245-6931.

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