He Mo‘olelo Keia
E‘ala is the name of the wa‘a kaulua (double-hulled canoe) built by and under the stewardship of the Wai‘anae Hawaiian Civic Club (WHCC). It is a key component in the educational curriculum of our public high schools teaching our youth the vibrancy of the Native Hawaiian culture.
Launched in 1982 from Poka‘i Bay, E‘ala became more than just a tangible object to be admired as a wa‘a kaulua. It represented the thousands of hours and hundreds of hands that made this project possible. E‘ala empowered the community and fostered genuine pride in the Native Hawaiian culture.
Moreover, under the direction of Solomon Naone of the WHCC, this project attracted major funding and support both locally and nationally. Beginning in 1978 with a small study grant, WHCC received monies from the National Trust for Historic Preservation the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Progressive Neighborhood Program. But there is still so much more to be done.
E‘ala was the first replica of a Hawaiian wa‘a kaulua built on the island of O‘ahu and the third one in state. Its building required tapping a deep cultural reservoir that must have inspired ancient Hawaiian master builders.
During the planning and construction phase significant changes were made. Instead of using all wood, fiberglass hulls were made shaped into a V” rather than round. Freely adapting a variety of woods from many sources such as spruce from Oregon, mahogany from the Philippines as well as koa and milo from these islands, masterbuilders, Philip Naone and Wally Froiseth, perceived the need to readapt modern technology with ancient traditional techniques.
E‘ala refers to an awakening. When we become aware of the natural surroundings of the land and the sea coupled with the work of human beings, we acknowledge time-honored truths of our kupuna: remember the past, stay focused on the present while planning for the future.
As in ancient times, E‘ala is always greeted as a vital member of the community, for she is seen as a vibrant link to the past who helps us navigate an often challenging present.
On a deeper and broader societal and spiritual level, E‘ala ignited an awakening of pride in Hawaiian cultural traditions that has survived into the present. Students of all ages have enjoyed E‘ala for she has become an educational vessel touching the shores of O‘ahu’s many ports.
Support our work, and be a part of the awakening!
The Wai‘anae Hawaiian Civic Club (WHCC) is a native Hawaiian non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Founded on June 15, 1935 by a group of residents of the Wai‘anae Moku (district) who dedicated their lives to the advancement of native Hawaiians through education and the preservation of its native culture. On April 6, 1966, the WHCC became a member of the national Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs (AHCC), and began its journey to preserve, protect and perpetuate continuity of its native culture and traditions through club programs.
To become a member, volunteer or donate, please call