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Contact: Judy Roderiques, 508-996-4095 x 6102
Why would a group of Polynesians go on a worldwide voyage in a double-hulled canoe using traditional Polynesian wayfinding, navigating without charts or instruments? Find out on AHA! night, Thursday, September 12, at 6:00 PM, when Dr. Ben Tamura presents "Voyaging Towards Health" at New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. He'll share his experiences as medical officer of the ocean voyaging canoe Hokulea, and discuss how Polynesians are reclaiming their heritage and cultural health, as well as exploring what Hawaiian and New Bedford culture have in common. This event is free, and is presented in partnership with the New Bedford Historical Society.
In the mid-19th century, 20% of sailors in the whaling fleet were Pacific Islanders. Hawaii, specifically Honolulu and Lahaina, were essential to the success of the New Bedford whaling industry.
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park was established by Congress in 1996 to help preserve and interpret America's nineteenth century whaling industry.The park, which encompasses a 13-block National Historic Landmark District, is the only National Park Service area addressing the history of the whaling industry and its influence on the economic, social, and environmental history of the United States.The National Park visitor center is located at 33 William Street in downtown New Bedford. It is open seven days a week, from 9 AM-5 PM, and offers information, exhibits, and a free orientation movie every hour on the hour from 10 AM-4 PM.The visitor center is wheelchair-accessible, and is free of charge.For more information, call the visitor center at 508-996-4095, go to www.nps.gov/nebe or visit the park's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/NBWNHP.