An Ocean in Mind (Kolowalu Books) (Paperback)
University of Hawaii Press, 9780824811129, 176pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 1987
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An Ocean in Mind poses a number of provocative questions about the ways in which the human mind acquires, utilizes, and transmits different forms of knowledge. Author Will Kyselka has woven an exploration of this theme around the story of the Hokule'a, a re-creation of a traditional Polynesian sailing vessel that completed a successful roundtrip journey between Hawaii and Tahiti in 1980. From this story emerges portraits of two men who played integral roles in that voyage.Nainoa Thompson, a young man of Hawaiian descent, kept the Hokule'a on its 6,000-mile course using only the stars and the sea as his guides. He was inspired by Carolinian navigator Mau Piailug, a gentle, softspoken man with keen instincts and an unlimited understanding of the oceans and heavens derived from his Oceanic cultural past. Thompson also worked with Kyselka to generate a body of information concerning movement of the stars using the Bishop Museum Planetarium as a resource. How Thompson was eventually able to forge these vastly different approaches to knowledge into a cogent wayfinding system uniquely his own, and his rediscovery of an almost forgotten cultural heritage in the process, makes for a thrilling adventure story.