In a simple traditional launching ceremony held at the Yap living history museum canoe houses, Larry Raigetal of Waa’gey thanked the invited guests for honoring Waa’gey carvers and volunteers by making time to attend the ceremony. He went on to explain the ceremony, in a typical traditional setting, is one of several, and the final event to mark the completion stage of a canoe carving process.
“Hefaifoi” as the ceremony is termed usually allows for free flow of traditional knowledge and skills as well as criticism of the completed canoe by other master craftsmen present at the occasion. The canoe marks the second sailing canoe completed by Waa’gey.
Attending the ceremony were Lt. Governor Tony Tareg, several local master canoe carvers along with Waa’gey carvers and volunteers. Special guests attending the ceremony included Yapital CEO Mr. Nils Winkler, Maren Winkler and their two sons Lex and John Winkler. Mr. Alex Sidles of Habele was also on site to attend the ceremony. “This is a very important ceremony that attests to Waa’gey ‘s successful effort in ensuring that valuable knowledge passed down for many generations is kept intact by the future generations of Yap. These skills are at high risk of being lost as modernization of these islands increases. Waa’gey is doing the right thing in allowing this transfer of skills. We at Habele are happy to be part of this effort ,“ Sidles said.
Waa’gey is a locally chartered nonprofit organization that uses traditional skills to confront the challenges of tomorrow. Other components of Waa’gey projects include women weavers who are teaching younger girls such valuable skills.