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Ship Logs

In the Presence of Nihoa (9/9/02)
by Scott Kikiloi

Being in the presence of Nihoa's steep cliffs and gusting winds made quite an impact on me today. It is truly amazing to think that kanaka maoli once occupied such a remote place that is situated in vast waters. Numerous birds flew over the ship, hovering curiously. I have seen things today, that I never seen before in my entire life. As I stood on board the Rapture, I was overwhelmed by these physical elements- the barren and inhospitable landscape, the squalling wind, the open blue sky, and the rough wavy sea. As a native Hawaiian it is important for me to do cultural protocol and give recognition to these physical elements. Cultural protocol is about giving respect to tradition. Giving respect to those that went before us, and giving respect to all life. It is a means to reconnect with the world on a spiritual level. The Northwest Hawaiian Islands are the oldest islands in our homeland, and are situated in a unique spot in our traditions and mo`olelo, or history. There is much significance is revisiting these wahi kupuna or ancestral places. There is much significance in doing what our ancestors once did. Island such as Nihoa and Moku Manamana are full of physical reminders that our people once lived and occupied these places as stewards of this land. Today we return to these areas to acknowledge this responsibility to malama, or care for these places. The cultural protocol that we do is a ho`okuupu, or gift of sorts, to remind our ancestors that we are committed to this cause. It is my hope this expedition highlights this same type of responsibility and commitment.

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