This book features interviews with ten master navigators who trained under Mau Piailug (1932-2010), the legendary teacher of traditional, non-instrument wayfinding methods for open-ocean voyaging across the Pacific. They were given the status of master navigator by Mau through the Pwo ceremony, and went on to become an integral part of the renaissance of knowledge and traditions around voyaging.The ten navigators include three from Aotearoa New Zealand: Hector Busby, Piripi Evans, and Jack Thatcher; two from the Cook Islands: Peia Patai (Pe'ae Tua'ati) and Teuatakiri Tearutua Arthur (Tua) Pittman; and five from Hawai'i: Nainoa Thompson, Chad Kālepa Baybayan, Shorty Bertelmann, Bruce Blankenfeld, and Chadd 'Onohi Paishon. Their stories are intertwined with the movement that proved that the exploration and settlement of the eastern Pacific was deliberate, and one of the greatest feats of navigation in human history. Each of the profiles includes a specific aspect of the contemporary voyaging story, and describes how these remarkable men learned to navigate voyaging canoes across thousands of miles of open ocean. Fascinating interviews uncover the blend of traditional knowledge, science, passion, stamina, and strength needed to guide a voyaging canoe.
About the Author
Jeff Evans is a writer and photographer based in Auckland. He has written several books relating to waka, including Ngā Waka o Neherā, Polynesian Navigation and the Discovery of New Zealand and Waka Taua: The Maori War Canoe. Between them, these books recall Māori migration traditions, describe navigation skills used by Māori to voyage between the islands in the central Pacific and New Zealand, and introduce the reader to waka taua. Jeff's most recent book was Heke-nukumai-nga-iwi Busby: Not Here by Chance (Huia, 2015). In 2020 he was awarded a summer residency at the Michael King Writer's Centre to work on this book.