Polynesian voyagers crossed the Pacific Ocean for millenia. The Navigators developed a deep connection to the sky, sea, and memory in order to travel thousands of miles across the open ocean from New Zealand to Samoa and Hawaii. When Europeans arrived in the islands, they were astounded to find that Hawaiians could navigate this vast territory without the aid of written maps or compasses. Today, Native Hawaiians continue their connection to the ocean and the islands even though new technological methods of navigation have entered the scene.
Around the world, the way we navigate every day has changed dramatically even in the last two decades. From maps and compasses, we now use GPS and smartphones. Today, the average American has more advanced navigational technology in their pocket than all of the Europeans of the Exploration Age combined. On sea and on land, we continue to develop new methods of finding our way, but don’t always think about the different attitudes or assumptions that shape the way we navigate. As students explore their connection to the environment around them, Hawaii is an incredible place to consider the tools we have, to better understand human ingenuity, and get to know different systems of innovation and wayfinding in our world.
Students will explore the methods of navigation that come from Hawaii juxtaposed with more "modern" or western alternatives. From telescope construction on sacred lands to land usage and development, we will look at key tension points between Native Hawaiian rights and mainland American culture. Importantly, we will question how navigation and our relationship with technology and place is built on diverse cultural systems.
Students will experience the Islands from many lenses: tourist and local, mainlander and Hawaiian to:
- understand issues of Native Hawaiian rights
- explore our connections to the environment around us
- look at key tension points between Native Hawaiian rights and mainland American culture
- understand the Hawaiian connection between land, volcanoes, water, and navigation and how that can be transferred to their home-view
Students will engage with native Hawaiian Islanders from the Polynesian Voyager Society, students from the King Kamehameha Schools and other native based youth programs to work on a wayfaring project and engage in culture-based activities.
Participation for all Lawrenceville Harkness Travel Programs is dependent upon a review of student applications, Head of House/Advisor recommendations, medical fitness for participation, and financial and disciplinary standing. Seniority and gender balance is also considered in the selection process.
Application to this program is not considered complete until both of the following items have been submitted:
Head of House/Day Advisor Recommendation must be completed and submitted to Louise Wright by Monday, November 1, 2021.
Application Survey must be completed by Monday, November 1, 2021.