Mission & Purpose
To Perpetuate the Knowledge of
Traditional Hawaiian Navigation
and to Provide Opportunities to
Native Hawaiian Students to
Advance in Contemporary Ocean
Based Careers Through Academic,
College, and Career Support
ʻO Hōkūleʻa ka Wahine, ʻO Mau ke Kāne
Noho Pū Lāua a Loaʻa Mai ʻO Makaliʻi, He Keiki, He Kiakahi
Holo Pū ʻo Makaliʻi i ka Moananuiākea
A Loaʻa mai ʻo Kānehūnāmoku, ka Pulapula, He Kiakahi
Kia Aku ka Maka i ka ʻĀlihilani a ʻŌʻili mai ka Moku lā
ʻO Kualoa ka ʻĀina, O Kānehoalani ka Pali Nāna e Hiʻi
I ke Ala Pono e holo aku ai a hoʻi mai
Me ka ʻIke o Kō Mua e kau mai nei
E Mau Mai ka ʻIke a Mau Loa e
Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy (KVA) is a nonprofit, Hawaii based, 501(c)3 organization. The 29-foot double hull sailing canoe, Kānehūnāmoku, is a hands-on, dynamic, and living classroom for students of all ages where students become crew and learn all aspects of sailing the canoe, including maritime skills, non-instrumental navigation, elemental observations, teamwork and communication.
KVA has been providing educational services in traditional Hawaiian navigation to primarily Native Hawaiian youth for over 14 years. KVA began as a voyaging program within Halau Kū Māna Public Charter School in 2001 and later expanded to working with other schools, programs, and eventually building its own independent programming.
KVA provides a major portion of our instruction through classroom visits at existing schools and on the ocean aboard Kanehunamoku in Kaneohe Bay at Kualoa Regional Park. Instruction is small group oriented, and each class is tailored to meet the needs and skill levels of our participants . Check out our Program page to learn more.
Contributed by Hālau Ku Mana Students
Papa Mau Piailug
PAPA MAU PIAILUG came from Satawal, a small atoll in Micronesia. He came to Hawai'i over 25 years ago to share with the Hawaiian people the ancient arts of non-instrumental navigation, seafaring, and way finding. Those skills had been put aside and not practiced for hundreds of years. Papa Mau was very generous and giving about sharing the knowledge with the Hawaiian people. The knowledge from Papa Mau was evident during the epic first voyage of Hōkūle'a to Tahiti. Papa Mau was a big part of the rebirth of the Hawaiian culture through waʻa.
Papa Mau is known to be the father of all Hawaiian waʻa, and Hōkūleʻa is the mother. To Kānehūnāmoku, he is also the grandfather. He spent a lot of time with the Hālau Ku Mana students in 2002-2006. He had also camped with them, voyaged with them and spent his own time teaching the students the star compass.
CLAY BERTELMANN has NEVER seen Kānehūnāmoku before, yet he is still one of our advisors for the canoe. He would show his love to the Wa'a in peculiar ways, yet he still showed how much he cared for them. He was the captain for Makali'i & he would answer any questions that he could, when students or any one else asked him. Once he was committed to something, he would STAY committed. He got to sail with the Hālau Ku Mana students during 2003. He also made a promise to Eddie Ka'anana that he would one day, sail him home to Mioli'i. After Clay passed, his students thought it was very necessary and important to take Eddie Ka'anana home to keep his promise.
"Its easy to dream the dream and yes you can make it come true, but to keep the dream alive, is the hardest thing to do." Clay Bertelmann
John K. Lake
John K. Lake was a spiritual advisor for Hālau Ku Mana Charter School. He lead all ceremonial events, for example, he lead one of ceremony`s for the launching of Kānehūnāmoku. He also was a hula teacher. He learned hula from Ka`ehukai Ka`e of Lahina Edith Kanaka`ole. In 1960 his kumu graduated him to kumu. So that means that now he can be a kumu for hula. His kumu wanted him to teach other Hawaiians how to dance hula; so he did. He found an after-school club where he could teach hula. That club had around 2,000 students from local Oahu high schools. In 1974 he taught Hawaiian history in Hawaiʻi`s public schools. In 1993, Chaminade University hired him the teach Hawaiian language. John K. Lake was a good, or some people would say, a perfect example of someone who has been keeping the Hawaiian culture alive.
Eddie Ka'anana was a master fisher men and kalo farmer from Miloli'i & was respected very well in the community. He learned the Hawaiian language growing up, also known as ka 'olelo makuahine, "the mother tongue". Eddie has been in the Hawai'i Delegation to the 8th Festival of Pacific Arts in New Caledonia, where he was the Piko, or the Hulu Kupuna of the delegation. He was a canoe builder to continue his kupuna's generations, and also was an inspiring kumu to all the people he taught.
Bonnie Kahapeʻa Tanner
Bonnie Kahape'a Tanner, also known as Auntie Kahaz, is from Ka'alaea, Oahu. Before Kānehūnāmoku, she was a crew member on Makali'i. Aunty Kahaz was trained by Clay Bertelmann and later gained enough experience to become the captain of Kānehūnāmoku. Her favorite things to do are sailing on Kānehūnāmoku and gardening with her two daughters, Lehia and Kaiale'a.
Pua Lincoln is from Waimea, Hawaii and trained on Makaliʻi with Clay Bertelmann. She was a crew member on the 2007 "Ku Holo Mau" voyage. She has a Masterʻs Degree in Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. She trained current crew members, Rusty Oppenheimer and Akoni Tacub. Pua has three sons.