The Art of Finding a Way: Blind Wayfinder of Tonga

Blind Navigator of Tonga

In 1820, homeward bound from Samoa where the young King Taufa’ahau had endured a tattooing ceremony that marked his coming of age, the Tongan fleet was struck by storms and blown off course. When the weather cleared, the king’s navigators (or wayfinders) admitted that they were lost. Short of food, the fleet was in peril.

In another canoe, an old and blind wayfinder of lower rank, Tuita Kahomovailahi, heard of the trouble. He asked that their canoe be turned into the wind, luffing the sail and bringing it to a stop. Then he asked his son to lower him over the side. He felt the water, smelled and tasted it. He asked if fishing birds were in sight, and the direction of their flight.

Then he said, “Tell the king we are in Fijian waters.” When the king asked for sailing directions, the old man asked his son for the position of the sun in the sky. He suggested a course, saying “When the sun is in the middle of the sky you will see land.” At noon, they raised Lakemba, a Fijian island in the Lau group.

The grateful king raised the old man to noble status, and his descendants have since been known as Fafakitahi, “feelers of the sea.”

Painting by legendary Hawaiian artist Herb Kawainui Kane for National Geographic.

 

JP X TS Collab: Liner Tee

TSL-Liner-PUR

The Liner Tee designed by JPPacificOriginals for Tanoa Samoa. Just a very clean graphic with colors that pop! Shown here in Purple & Turquoise, the Liner Tee also comes in Black & Charcoal Heather… Get ’em now online or in-store at Tanoa Samoa!

Represent our Island Style well…

TSL-Liner-TURTSL-Liner-ALL

The Art of Finding a Way

WAYFINDERS

It’s been quite a busy year so far, even though I’ve been flyin’ under the radar. Already in the books are a handful of community art projects and some very nice ladies & girls tee collabs with Tanoa Samoa. We also went on a life-changing research trip to Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar and Morocco (more about that later). And most recently I picked up a new daytime gig at a very cool apparel company!

Now that the dust has settled a bit, I’ve been anxious to find my way back to working on this site! I’ve got plenty of ideas that have been floating around on paper, on my phone, on my brain cels, etc… I think I’ve found a way to bring all these ideas together and point them in the direction that I want this brand to go. So, with that being said, let’s ready this ship and get the crew fit for the open sea!

Sneak Peak

Damn I’m tired… But this design is finally wrapped ‘n sent to my print shop. Gotta get this site “shop-ready” too. Here’s a lil’ peak at the first piece. Kept it visually simple, but the story is way deep…