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WEALTH OF HEALTH


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Voyaging canoes could help bring balance to health care

By Ira Zunin

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 10, 2014

~~<p>The resurgence in Polynesian voyaging throughout the Pacific was made possible by the rediscovery of the ancient skills of the navigator. This breakthrough has created another opening: the opportunity to revive the traditional role of the kauka (doctor) on board. Doing so will further preserve, protect and perpetuate Hawaiian culture. It also will support the health of the people of Hawaii. Bringing together the best of modern medicine and indigenous healing arts has the potential to help resolve health disparities and guide a more skillful allocation of resources resulting in improved outcomes.</p>
<p>A week from today, Hoku&shy;leʻa and Hiki&shy;ana&shy;lia, her sister vessel, will depart Hawaii on a three-year worldwide voyage. I have been blessed with the sacred opportunity to serve as medical officer for both canoes as far as Tahiti during the first several weeks of the trip. The journey, Malama Honua (caring for the world) represents the first time a traditional-style Polynesian voyaging canoe will sail beyond the Pacific Ocean. It will also mark the beginning of a leadership transition to the next generation of Hawaiian way-finders.</p>
~~

The resurgence in Polynesian voyaging throughout the Pacific was made possible by the rediscovery of the ancient skills of the navigator. This breakthrough has created another opening: the opportunity to revive the traditional role of the kauka (doctor) on board. Doing so will further preserve, protect and perpetuate Hawaiian culture. It also will support the health of the people of Hawaii. Bringing together the best of modern medicine and indigenous healing arts has the potential to help resolve health disparities and guide a more skillful allocation of resources resulting in improved outcomes.

A week from today, Hoku­leʻa and Hiki­ana­lia, her sister vessel, will depart Hawaii on a three-year worldwide voyage. I have been blessed with the sacred opportunity to serve as medical officer for both canoes as far as Tahiti during the first several weeks of the trip. The journey, Malama Honua (caring for the world) represents the first time a traditional-style Polynesian voyaging canoe will sail beyond the Pacific Ocean. It will also mark the beginning of a leadership transition to the next generation of Hawaiian way-finders. Login for more...



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