A few boys with their master canoe carver, Joseph Yetigmal of Lamotrek, cut down a tree and planted ten in replacement on Friday, March 30, 2012 to commemorate the FSM Culture Day.
The boys did not waste any time after the tree had fallen and began carving out the hull of a sailing canoe. Project Coordinator Larry Raigetal of Waa’gey said the log will be moved to the canoe house at the Yap Living History Museum for completion. It will take couple days to work in the jungle to reduce unnecessary weight of the log before transporting it to the museum site.
The project, which aims to be completed by next month (april) will have the boys continue learning canoe carving and other traditional skills. It will also allow for students around the island to observe and participate thru organized school visits.
Once complete, the canoe will be used to train teams for the upcoming canoe festival now slated to take place the early weeks of November 2012. Mr. Alex Sidles, a board member of Habele, a US based nonprofit organization, and partner with Waa’gey, was on site to join the project launching.
Waa’gey has been working with the boys group from Lamotrek in promoting cultural and traditional skills learning. The group, through an arrangement by the Yap Traditional Society and the Yap Living History Museum, has been providing canoe tours and traditional skills demonstrations on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the canoe houses.
This canoe project is in partnership with the coalition of Yap Against Drugs and Alcohol (YADA), Habele, Yap Traditional Navigation Society, and the Yap Living History Museum.