We are quite often asked about books about the Hokule’a, the replica of the ancient Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe. Up until now those books have been out of print for quite some time and secondhand copies fetch quite a price regardless of their condition…until now!
Lucky for all of us, the relaunch of the Hokule’a that occurred recently in 2014, with its voyage around the world powered by people, wind, seas, birds, and stars only, spanning a distance of over 60,000 miles and visiting 23 different countries, this epic experience has been chronicled in a newly-released book titled “Malama Honua: Hokule’a — A Voyage of Hope” by Jennifer Allen.
“Malama Honua” is a large and beautiful book. Just taking time to look at the incredible photography inside by John Bilderback makes the book worth the purchase! Images of the various peoples involved, the locations visited by the Hokule’a, the practicing of the traditional ways by the cultures they met, and to see this marvelous vessel moving about the open ocean is truly beautiful.
But truly this book is so much more! The text of the book is full of great detail about the entirety of the Hokule’a experience, what it meant to those involved, what it meant to those who encountered it, and the transcendent message that the voyage was about. Reading “Malama Honua” is like talking with the very people who crewed this vessel, like Nainoa Thompson, and these are conversations you are sure never to soon forget! Even Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has blessed this book with a forward he has specially written!
For those interested in Polynesia navigation, Hawaiian culture, indigenous heritage, or the sheer drive of human will, this is one book you should certainly get—especially before it goes out of print!
Ed and Cynthia Justus are owners of The Bookstore in Hanapepe.