“We are the crew of Lata, the Polynesian culture-hero who built the first voyaging canoe and navigated across the Pacific. We use only ancient designs, materials, and methods, and we invite everyone to reconnect with ancestors and sustainable lifeways. This is the real Moana!”
Part 2. We, the Voyagers: Our Moana (57 minutes 19 seconds)
In our isolated Polynesian community, we live the story of our ancestral culture-hero, Lata. To make a voyage Lata welcomes men, women and children as crew, including hard workers with skills and applicants of dubious character, including an anthropologist. Our community blesses the vessel and sailors, and we learn how to set the sails. We find our way in the open ocean by interacting with patterns of winds, waves, stars, and other signs that our ancestors show us when we need them. We arrive at islands and learn what happened to family members since the last voyage some generations earlier. We reconcile, reaffirm our love for each other, and look to our future together.
About the Film Maker:
Dr. George is a cultural anthropologist and sailor, who supports the education of youth in ancient maritime practices, methods and designs. She has worked for and with the Polynesian voyaging community of Taumako since 1993.
- Regional exchange rituals of an Austronesian language speaking people of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea during 1979 - 85:
- Small group dynamics of mixed-gender group wintering-over a sailboat in the Antarctic sea-ice and doing 18 science projects during 1982 - 84:
- Voyaging traditions of Siberian Yupik and their traditional Chukchi reindeer herding partner on both sides of the Bering Straits during 1987 - 9;
- Training of a new generation of voyagers by a Polynesian community in the Santa S.E. Solomon Islands (1993 - 2019).
In 1988 George and Dr David Lewis founded the Pacific Traditions Society, a very small non-profit organization in the USA. In 1996 Taumako Paramount Chief Koloso Kaveia and George founded the Vaka Taumako Project. Since 2017 the charitable organization, Vaka Valo Association of Taumako, runs educational programs as the Lata Voyaging School.
Mimi has written articles about Taumako voyaging knowledge in “Sailing with Lata” in Sailing NZ 1999, Te Laa o Lata: Measuring Performance of a Polynesian Sail” in Journal of the Polynesian Society, 2017, and Time and Mind Journal, “Polynesian Navigation and Te Lapa - The Flashing” in 2012 and Experiencing Mana as Ancestral Wind in 2018. She is writing a book entitled “Sailing with Lata.”