A LITERARY TRIBUTE TO FSM MASTER NAVIGATOR MAU PIAILUG

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HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (May 10, 2000 - PIDP/CPIS)---After reading in the Pacific Islands Report last week Monday that Federated States of Micronesia master navigator Mau Piailug was going to be honored by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., Wehnes Billen of the FSM wanted to do something special in Piailug’s honor.

Billen requested that his daughter, Amanda of Orlando, Florida, write a poem dedicated to Piailug and his years of work as a leader of traditional voyaging in the region.

The Pacific Islands Report is pleased to make the tribute poem available.

PALU - A STAR GAZER’S VOYAGE

To strive for your dreams and end in a victory Means reaching for the heavens and touching a star.

Building link for our future and history, Mau Piailug unfolds the mat to set sail afar.

As the celestial heavens guide the journey, More than strength and courage steer Makali’i through;

It’s a loyal observance that keeps her sturdy, Of our forefathers teachings that forever hold true.

This voyage transcends a passion that’s accomplished And becomes a perseverance of a gifted race,

Whose heritage and skill will never be vanquished Nor lost, but saved for our descendants to embrace.

To gaze into the sky or drift in the ocean, Is to remember one Palu’s daring crusade.

Saving a legacy is his noble mission. "Preserve your culture" is the example he laid.

We thank you today for your determination, And yesterdays fathers for their inspiration.

By Amanda Dawn Billen

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