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TASI seafarer to make journey aboard flying proa

Monday, March 21, 2016

"As FestPac approaches, we've talked about getting to know our culture and getting to know our roots. Nash has taken the mission of FestPac to heart, truly showing how the past can make waves for the future."

- Governor Eddie Baza Calvo

In the next few weeks, seafarers from across the Pacific will begin their journey across the Blue Continent to Guam for the Festival of Pacific Arts 2016. Among them will be Traditions About Seafaring Islands (TASI) member Ignacio "Nash" Camacho.

Camacho today is flying to Kaoshiung, Taiwan where he will meet with the Council of Indigenous People and fellow seafarers before sailing to Guam on a traditional vessel using the stars and waters to navigate across the Blue Continent. Governor Eddie Baza Calvo and Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio wish Camacho and Pieske safe travels.

"This is an extraordinary adventure," Governor Calvo stated.

"It's history in the making," Lt. Governor Tenorio added.

In Taiwan, Camacho will join navigator, author and FestPac Literary Arts delegate Syaman Rapongan to sail to Orchid Island to meet the seafaring Yami tribe before making their way to Guam.  Then, around March 11, Camacho and renowned German sailor Burghard Pieske, will begin their voyage to Guam on the ‘Ana Varu'. Pieske brought the vessel, which is built similar to a sakman, to Taiwan as part of the Rapa Nui Experiment.

Their journey to Guam is a portion of a larger voyage that aims to retrace the great feats of migration from Asia, which populated the islands of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. The voyage will end at Rapa Nui, or Easter Island. Pieske has built traditional vessels to replicate ancient navigational vessels, including a viking ship, ‘Viking Saga' which he sailed over the Atlantic, following the journey of Lief Eriksson. The ultimate goal of the 'Rapa Nui Experiment' is to highlight a Pacific culture and history often unknown or overlooked by Western people.

"I'm really excited to be a part of this epic journey," Camacho said. "The future of all seafaring people is very bright. The bonds of cultural ties between our islands are becoming even stronger. This will lead to much more sharing of experiences and development of even closer ties. We will continue to partner and share with our brothers and sisters with the same ancestral roots."

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), as well as the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Commerce, Culture and others extending every courtesy have helped support voyage.

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