we know the way







here’s the whole scene, with song, and subtitles…

This song is the entire history of wayfinding in like two minutes.

There are fabulous details like the variety of wa’as (double hulled voyaging canoes); small to large. The rainstorm where they can gather more water. The navigator measuring the distance of stars above the horizon with his hand. The flight of the bird toward an island. The shift from the early settlement to a fully developed village with cleared crop lands. The people leaning over the side of the wa’a aren’t just gettig their hands wet, they are feeling the warmth or coolness of the current as Moana and Maui did later in the film. The crews seem to be doing some singing and dancing here; but I saw crews doing hakas in one documentary (energizes the crew), and sea shanties help coordinate crew working together (been there, done that), whether rowing or raising a sail. We see the older navigator pass his necklace on to the young one, who then sets out with a scouting fleet (in smaller wa’as) at the end of this sequence. The young navigator’s boat leaps the waves the exact same way the first big boat in this sequence does.

I found the boat designs interesting: you can see how the hulls are covered (each hull is basically a huge dugout canoe), some with extra constructions on top. On Hokule’a, the Hawaiian voyaging canoe, the sleeping compartments are in the hulls, covered with canvas (and yes, it does leak, I hear).

In one of the first shots, as we see the big wa’a from the rear, we can see a wave wash against one hull, then a moment later, against the other. In one documentary, Master Navigator Mau Piailug is demonstrating how ocean swells affect the canoe. He’s using a small canoe made of two leaves connected by sticks. He rolls another stick under the canoe, representing the movement of the swells. You can see how it must feel to a navigator; each of the two hulls reacting to the swell at a different time, allowing you to feel with more precision where the waves are coming from.

There are several smaller boats like Moana’s (hers is actually one of those smaller boats of course) in the colonization fleet, as well as the big ones that are clearly carrying more of the food, water, plants and livestock for the eventual village. This is a colonization fleet. The smaller fleet that sets out at the end of this sequence is an exploration fleet; fewer and smaller boats. Lighter, faster, able to turn and come back if necessary, or reprovision at a known island.

We go straight from the young navigator at the end to Moana in the cave… he is one of the ancestors, she is his legacy. And she will inherit the locket, if not the entire necklace, that he is wearing.

From Gramma, who is awesome.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s