Tā Le Vaka Community Canoe Building

We are coodinating a community-wide effort to build the first Tokelau vaka (canoe) ever constructed in the United States. Working in partnership with organizations and communities in Hawai‘i, New Zealand, Australia, and Tokelau, this project will revive traditional engineering, carpentry, lashing knowledge, and celestial wayfinding techniques in our community.  The Tā Le Vaka project also sponsors many opportunities for the community to learn about Tokelauʻs oceangoing heritage.


Join Our Community!

We are in the process of completing the Tokelau vaka and launching it in the Taumaka Program in the coming months. Join our Community to get involved in the completion and launch of the Vaka!


Hawai'i Public Radio

Mahalo ma fakafetai to Ku'uwehi Hiraishi and everyone one at Hawai'i Public Radio for this wonderful piece on our Tokelauan community, especially Uncle Vahe, as he helps us bring this vaka to life! Mālō lava!

Carving Space for Tokelauan Identity in Hawaiʻi

By Ku`uwehi Hiraishi • Jul 20, 2018

Under a canopy tent in the old plantation village of Poamoho in Wahiawa, a half dozen or so men use traditional Tokelauan adzes called toki to chip away at a 35-foot long log of albezia. Women and children encourage the carving in song as the canoe is beginning to take shape.

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