Member Update – New Exhibit on Polynesian Voyagers

Newport News, VA – The Mariners’ Museum and Park’s newest exhibition Polynesian Voyagers opens on Saturday, October 1, 2016, in conjunction with Hokule‘a’s second visit to Hampton Roads. This exhibition will feature the time-honored navigational skills of the Polynesian navigators who relied on their knowledge of waves, winds, stars, and nature instead of modern instruments.


Courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum

In collaboration with Hawaiian educators, the Hokule‘a crew and staff, and the Polynesian community, this new exhibition is designed to evoke the feeling of what it is to be a voyager. Guests will encounter displays demonstrating the origin of the Polynesian culture and community and how they are inherently maritime focused. With an emphasis on navigational techniques that precede technology, the exhibition will guide visitors through the story of exploration and settlement of the vast Pacific islands.

Polynesian Voyagers will feature the traditional supplies and methods encountered on a Polynesian voyaging canoe, and guests will be able to listen to Polynesian chants that would have been used in ancient times to share history among civilizations without a common language.

Hokule‘a will return to Newport News in mid-October. The double-hulled voyaging canoe will be brought to The Mariners’ Museum by truck where she will then go through general maintenance and repairs. There will be opportunities for Museum visitors to interact with Hokule‘a crew members and see the canoe up-close. Times and dates will follow in another release once Hokule‘a’s schedule is finalized. Tentative date for her arrival to the Museum is October 14, but this is subject to change.

The Mariners’ Museum and Park would like to thank the City of Newport News and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities for sponsoring Polynesian Voyagers.

Submitted by Jenna Dill, The Mariners’ Museum, September 12, 2016

Leave a Reply