The 1970’s saw the beginnings of what would become the Native Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance. Leading the movement were two simultaneous efforts, the stopping of the bombing of Kaho`olawe and the revival of ancient Hawaiian seafaring aboard a sailing canoe named Hokule`a.
In 2004, fourteen years after Hawaiian activists successfully stopped the military from bombing Kaho`olawe, the original activists or „Early Warriors“ return to the island to tell their stories. It is the first gathering of its kind in 30-years. Personal accounts of the activists are deeply moving and vividly portray the dangers that they faced during their courageous protests.
Joining the Early Warriors of Kaho`olawe are the „Early Voyagers“ of Hokule`a, modern Hawaiian seafarers who lead the way in re-establishing ancient Hawaiian open ocean navigation. They come to Kaho`olawe with three voyaging canoes. With them is legendary Master Navigator, Mau Pialug.
While on island, the Early Voyagers retell the story of Hokule`a and explore the deep connection and similarity to the story of the Early Warriors. Through this process the two groups reconnect and ultimately revisit and address a painful divide that occurred in the formative years of the Native Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance.
The coming together and healing of these two groups is symbolized through the joint dedication of a voyaging platform at Kealaikahiki, thereby recognizing and rededicating Kaho`olawe as a sacred navigational center.
The historic homecoming, the stories, and the events in this documentary capture a significant chapter in the rebirth of Kaho`olawe and the restoration of Hawaiian culture.
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