The Wayfinders of Polynesia inhabited the largest culture sphere in human history, spanning one fifth of the surface of the planet. Navigators of the sea, Wayfinders used wave pattern ‘fingerprints’ and stars to travel to thousands of islands. However, this culture that once flourished over 25 million square kilometers of ocean, has seen much of its history and tradition die out. To preserve Wayfinding, one Hawaiian native learns this art form of navigation and designs a traditional Polynesian boat to sail across the islands. Wade Davis, Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic, accompanies him on one of these journeys to learn and listen as he shares his emotional story of overcoming stereotypes and disillusionment to embrace the culture of his ancestors. Complemented with commentary from a Polynesian scholar, The Wayfindersoffers an in-depth look into the life of this ancient culture. With the participation of Charles Nainoa Thompson, currently the Executive Director of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) and hosted by Wade Davis. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Network.
Discussion with Wade Davis, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, follows screening.