HWST 281: Hoʻokele I : Hawaiian Astronomy and Weather

Credits 3 Class Hours3 lecture

This course is a survey of the Hawaiian and Polynesian environment in relationship to migration, voyaging, and folklore. This course will provide the student with the basics of wayfinding (or non-instrument) techniques as utilized by the voyages of Hokule‘a, Hawai‘i Loa, Makali‘i, and other Polynesian voyaging canoes. In addition, the class will explore and appreciate the cultural impact of long distance voyaging and the settlement of Polynesia upon contemporary society.


Qualified for ENG 100S. Qualified for MATH 82X or "C" or higher or concurrent enrollment in MATH 75X.

Semester Offered Fall, Spring
Diversification: Humanities — DH
Graduation Requirement: Pacific Cultures — PC
Course Student Learning Outcomes (CSLOs)
  1. Know specific geographical factors which affect voyaging in Hawai‘i and Polynesia.
  2. Perform and explain at least two "oli" or chants utilized in voyaging protocol.
  3. Explain at least two voyaging traditions within Polynesia.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the major star lines which influence Hawaiian noninstrument wayfinding.
  5. Know the seasonal weather, ocean patterns and systems surrounding Hawai‘i.
  6. Understand the basic principles involved with noninstrument wayfinding.