Alingano Maisu



The Maisu (pronounced mai-shu)

is a 56-foot double-hulled Hawaiian canoe with a single

mast, similar to Höküalaka‘i, a canoe launched  as

a floating classroom for the ‘Aha Pünana Leo Hawaiian immersion

education program. In fact, both the canoes’ hulls were cast from

the same molds.

Asked why he’s building a Hawaiian style canoe to bring to

Micronesia instead of a Micronesian one, Mau says: “Me, I don’t

like the Micronesian canoe. Before I use that kind because I don’t

know about the different style canoe. But when I come to Hawai‘i

and I see Höküle‘a, I think, ‘Oh, this kind is good, because stron-

ger, faster, more food on top, more water, more people.’ That’s

why when they ask me, ‘Can we make one canoe for you?’ I say,

‘Yeah, thank you. I like build one Hawaiian-style canoe for the

Micronesian people.’”

The Satawalese name Maisu refers to breadfruit that has been

knocked to the ground by high wind. “When it stay breadfruit

season in our island, and a strong wind coming and shake all the

breadfruits down, then you can go and collect it, even if it is not

your tree,” Mau says. “We call that ‘maisu.’”

In the same way, he says, the canoe Maisu will be available

for anyone to partake freely of its learning: “Today, Micronesia is

becoming like Hawai‘i – a lot of modern custom. So I am trying to

have a canoe to teach the kids navigation. They can come any time;

the canoe is gonna be there waiting.

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