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Top Honour For Waka Navigator

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One of the core members of the Te Matau a Maui Voyaging Trust, Clive’s Piripi Smith, has received the highest honour in kaupapa waka navigation.

At an initiation ceremony staged for the first time in New Zealand last weekend, Smith was made a Pwo navigator — an honour which originated thousands of years ago on the island of Satawal in Micronesia where the kaupapa behind Pwo emerged from.

Mau Piailug, one of the great teachers of traditional navigation of the 1970s to ’90s was active in continuing to pass on the skills of waka navigation which had been passed from generation to generation and was responsible for teaching traditional celestial navigation to the Hawaiians during the 1970s. They, in turn, passed on the knowledge to other voyaging societies throughout the Pacific.

Those who receive the Pwo navigation honour do so from other senior Pwo navigators throughout the Pacific. It is an acknowledgement they have reached a level where they are seen as a leader and teacher of the traditional ways of waka and navigation.

Photo: Piripi Smith, of Clive (left), with others honoured with traditional Pwo awards and who attended last Friday’s ceremony.

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Posted: 20 December 2018

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