The Art of Oceanic Navigation and Land Finding

March 12, 2024 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Lyman Museum
276 Haili St. Hilo
HI 96720

(L): Mau Piailug, Master Navigator from Satawal, Caroline Islands, using a star compass to teach navigation to his son, 1983. Photo credit: Steve Thomas Traditional Micronesian Navigation Collection, UH-Mānoa, Hamilton Library, Pacific Collection. (R): Marshall Islands stick chart, Mattang type. Photo credit: Doug Herman

Matinée Presentation:

The settling of the Island Pacific over 1000 years ago is one of the greatest adventures of human history.  Using double-hulled voyaging canoes built with stone-age tools, and navigating by stars and swells, Pacific Islanders journeyed as far as 2500 miles to find tiny dots of land in the middle of an ocean covering one-third of our planet’s surface.  Then they traveled back, and forth, and back and forth to settle those islands.  With no maps, instruments, or written texts, how did they do it?  Until the 1976 voyage of the Hōkūleʻa, scholars did not believe that such intentional navigation and landfinding had been possible.  In this engaging presentation Dr. Doug Herman returns to the Lyman Museum to reveal the intricate arts of Oceanic navigation and landfinding that enabled this amazing feat.  $3; free to Museum members.  For details: (808) 935-5021 or

Admission to these wonderful programs is free to Museum members, and $3.00 for nonmembers.  Please support the Museum by becoming a member, and enjoy all Saigo Series programs, all year round, at no charge!

Seating is limited; first come, first seated.

ON MONDAY EVENINGS ONLY, additional parking is available next door at Hilo Union School,

Kapiolani Street entrance; park, then walk through our green gate in the rock wall.

On Monday evenings, doors open at 6:30PM.  E komo mai!

Lyman Museum ~ 276 Haili St ~ Hilo, Hawai‘i ~ (808) 935-5021 ~ The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum showcases the natural and cultural history of Hawai‘i to tell the story of its islands and its people.