UOG President Dr. Underwood stands with the traditional navigators from the Lamotrek, Yap State, Micronesia at a ceremony celebrating their voyage (link).
For centuries, the people of the central Caroline Islands have relied heavily on their voyaging canoes as their primary means of transport. They made voyages to islands near and afar to obtain necessities including food, tools, and other valuables. In some instances, following devastating natural calamities, their canoes are used to relocate to a different island as was the case for the “Carolinians” now residing in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI).
Today, the art of canoe building and traditional celestial navigation, continues in these remote islands of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Although at a smaller scale than what it used to be, the important knowledge of their ancestors are being passed on to younger generations. Waa’gey is a community- based organization that is working with their island communities to promote traditional skills and knowledge transfer.
Realizing the challenges brought to the shores of Micronesia by globalization and environmental issues including climate change and rising sea levels, the people of Lamotrek Atoll in Yap worked with Master Navigator Larry Reigetal and his crew to build an outrigger canoe named Lucky Star.