Chad Kalepa Baybayan, Seafarer Who Sailed Using the Stars, Dies at 64


Chad Kalepa Baybayan, a revered Hawaiian seafarer who was a torchbearer for the artwork of “wayfinding,” which ancestral Polynesian sailors used to navigate the Pacific Ocean by finding out the stars, commerce winds and flight patterns of birds, died on April eight at a pal’s house in Seattle. He was 64.

His daughter Kala Tanaka stated the trigger was a coronary heart assault. He suffered from diabetes and had had a quadruple bypass over a yr in the past.

Many centuries in the past, oceanic tribes sailed the waters between the islands and atolls of Polynesia in double-hulled canoes. They plotted their course by consulting the instructions hid inside sunrises and sunsets, ocean swells, the behaviors of fish and the reflections of land in clouds. As Polynesia was colonized and modernized, the secrets and techniques of celestial navigation have been practically forgotten.

Mr. Baybayan turned a face of a cultural motion to protect these previous methods, and a tireless educator who taught the science of wayfinding in lecture rooms and auditoriums throughout the nation.

“Traditional navigation schools,” Mr. Thompson continued, “have always been highly protective of the knowledge. There are 4,000-year-old navigation schools in Micronesia that still won’t teach their methods to outsiders. History will say that Kalepa was the one who stopped the extinction of the great navigators because he shared our knowledge with the world.”

Mr. Baybayan’s progressive approach to preserving tradition sometimes made him a polarizing figure in his Native Hawaiian community.



Source link Nytimes.com

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