Saturday, November 13, 2010

THE LAUNCH OF NORFOLK ISLAND'S FIRST WA'A


It was one of those beautiful days on Norfolk Island. One of those days when you do not envy any other person in the whole world, because you know you live in a beautiful place, with beautiful people, with a proud history and a rich heritage.

In recent years years, we have built up strong links with our Bounty Descendant cousins in Tahiti. They have been urging the Norfolk Islanders to build some outrigger canoes (known as "Wa'a"). These are used a great deal in the Pacific/Polynesian islands for get-togethers, sport and competition. Leslie, who is Sylvia's son, sent plans from Tahiti, and the first Norfolk Island "Wa'a" was ready to launch on Sunday.



George (Tihoti) Barff carried out the appropriate Tahitian blessing.

He called on the Wind and the sea and the elements to protect the vessel and those who sailed in her.

George and Pauline's daughter Mauatua (named for Fletcher Christian's Tahitian wife) assisted with the ceremony.


Our lovely locals were there with ukeleles and guitars, to add some lovely island harmonies and songs to the occasion.
And the young ones showed us some beautiful Tahitian dancing.

Finally it was time to carry the canoe down to the shore.

I should mention that we had asked Sylvia in Tahiti if she had a Tahitian name, so we could name the wa'a after her. She said that she did not, but asked if we would name the canoe "Tefauroa", which is the Tahitian name for Point Venus, where the Bounty had anchored.

The dancing moved to the beach.

It was such a balmy afternoon, everyone, young and old, were enjoying the occasion.



Everyone was invited to take a turn around Emily Bay on the wa'a.

Some of the kids sailed a smaller scale canoe.


Eventually the breeze became cooler, and we decided it may be time to go home. But it will remain in our memories as a very special afternoon. The second canoe will be underway soon!



                           

1 comment:

bunks said...

Such beautiful views Mary, especially nice as it's blowing rain, dreary and overcast here at the moment.

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