CANOE CULTURE THRIVING IN PACIFIC

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APIA, Samoa (December 11, 2000 - Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat)---UNESCO's program promoting the culture of canoe building in the Pacific has been so successful that outside funding probably won't be needed to keep the program alive.

That's the conclusion of the UN organization's cultural advisor in Samoa, Mali Voi.

He said the Vaka Moana program, which ended in 1997, has sparked an enormous revival in traditional Pacific maritime culture, which appeared to have been dying out.

In an interview with Pacific Beat’s Bruce Hill, Voi said, "People started a canoe culture to revive the skills of making canoes for community activity and pleasure."

He said the members of the younger generation in the Pacific are interested in learning from their elders about the traditional seafaring methods of using the stars, moon, wind and sea current patterns.

"We are people of the sea who like traveling and exploring beyond what our eyes can see," Voi said.

For additional reports from Radio Australia/Pacific Beat, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia/Pacific Beat.

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