The Cultural Conservancy - "Guardians of the Water" Canoe Project
|Wood carving by Tonu Shane Eagleton. Photo Credit: Melissa Nelson|
With board member L. Frank, Maori allies and colleagues Wikuki Kingi and Tania Wolfgramm, and Artist-In-Residence Tonu Shane Eagleton, we have envisioned an intercultural, multi-tribal collaborative venture to support the renewal of indigenous watercraft traditions of the Pacific, starting in California.
- Restore the eco-cultural diversity of canoe cultures
- Honor Traditional Knowledge Keepers and Canoe-Makers
- Teach indigenous canoe and boat-making and paddle-making skills
- Support Native Arts and Sciences
Tule Boat by Chuck Striplen (Ohlone). Photo Credit: Melissa Nelson
- Reconnect with waterways – rivers, lakes, oceans – and restore the “Water Guardians” traditions of indigenous people to improve the health of native waters
- Build inter-tribal creative leadership teams
California Canoe Traditions
We plan to support contemporary canoe-makers in California, from dugout canoes of the North Coast, to tule boats of the rivers and lakes, to the plank canoes of the South Coast. Based on this gathering of the teachers we intend to support teaching canoe making to other tribal members. These educational workshops will happen in communities and more formally in conjunction with the American Indian Studies Department at San Francisco State University.
|Tania Wolfgramm in front of Waka made by Wikuki Kingi. Photo Credit: Wikuki Kingi|
Pacific Islander Canoe Traditions
Under leadership from Wikuki Kingi we plan to work with Pacific Islander communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and Native Americans interested in these traditions, to learn about and build a traditional Maori waka (war canoe).
Intertribal World Canoe
Simultaneously while conducting research, planning, and educational workshops on California Indian and Pacific Islander canoes and boats we plan to develop a multi-ethnic ocean canoe led by Wikuki Kingi and Tania Wolfgramm, creators of the Peace & Healing Pou, an extraordinary multiethnic totem pole outside of Auckland, New Zealand.
Our proposed “Intertribal World Canoe” would include woods and designs from many of the Pacific and world’s indigenous groups. The canoe would be carved and adorned with carvings and shells from the many oceans of the world and be a functional "message taker" and icon for exploring and creating a better future based out on the wisdom and resilience of indigenous cultures. This world canoe could serve as a sacred container for the “original instructions” of native peoples and create a symbolic lifeboat with essential seeds, foods, baskets, bundles, and teachings. As an educational, visual and artistic project enabling artists from around the world to take part, it will be unique and original and aid in changing perceptions through creative leadership.
Once the canoe is completed it will be adorned and launched with ceremony. It can then travel to other parts of the world as a living cultural treasure and life vessel for navigating resilience in a complex world.
* We are currently planning and fundraising for this exciting project and will be presenting a workshop and our first canoes at the Bioneers 2010 Conference. To contribute to this project contact Melissa Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Artwork by Tonu Shane Eagleton. Photo credit: Melissa Nelson||Artwork by Tonu Shane Eagleton. Photo credit: Melissa Nelson||Artwork by Tonu Shane Eagleton. Photo credit: Melissa Nelson|