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HWST 196: Special Topics in Polynesian Voyaging: Malama Honua (3 credits)

Course Description

An introduction to Hawaiian views of astronomy and weather, with a focus on celestial bodies and how they are used as a basic wayfinding tool.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian concepts of the cosmos, space, direction and time and explain how these concepts compare with Western concepts
  • Identify and name the component parts of the star compass used by Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) trained navigators
  • Identify and name (both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian names) the four star lines used by contemporary Hawaiian wayfinders
  • Identify and name the stars and constellations that make up the individual star lines
  • Identify and explain the declination of each star and how they relate to significant places in broader Polynesia
  • Critically examine and explain the differences between Micronesian star compass used by Mau Piailug and the contemporary wayfinding star compass
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the stories, both traditional and contemporary, that are attached to the stars, constellations and star lines used by wayfinding navigators
  • Identify and explain significance of celestial bodies and atmospheric and oceanic features and conditions used in navigation and weather prediction
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of non-instrument and instrument-aided navigation and weather
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the richness of Hawaiian language in describing geography and navigation, and demonstrate knowledge of how the terminology reflects a Hawaiian worldview

For transfer information within the UH system, visit the System Transfer page


Classes Offered