Yap to hold 8th canoe festival in December

Traditional seafaring heritage to be celebrated on Dec. 8 and 9

Traditional canoe carving in Yap, Federated States of Micronesia. (Brad Holland)

Celebrating the rich heritage of traditional seafaring in the Pacific region of Micronesia, the Yap Visitors Bureau, in partnership with the Yap Traditional Navigation Society, has announced that the 8th annual Yap Canoe Festival will be held Dec. 8 and 9, 2017, in Colonia.

The two-day festival will take place at the Yap Living History Museum and will include a parade of traditional sailing canoes, dances, skills demonstrations, and a marketplace offering food and handicrafts for sale. 

Micronesian scholar and filmmaker Dr. Eric Metzgar will provide the keynote address and present his video, A Voyaging Odyssey, featuring highlights from the 2010 ocean voyages captained by pwo master navigator Ali Haleyalur and master canoe carver Chief Bruno Tharngan. The ocean crossings “rediscovered” the ancient, traditional sea routes between the islands of Lamotrek, Guam, Yap, and Palau.

“We are excited that Dr. Metzgar will be joining us, along with Ali Haleyalur and Chief Tharngan,” said Don Evans, general manager of the Yap Visitors Bureau. “Dr. Metzgar has spent many years on the outer islands of Yap studying the art and history of traditional sailing and is a leading expert in the field.”

Voyaging canoe rides will be offered on Friday, Dec. 8, followed that evening by the traditional dances of Yap that are renowned throughout the region.

On Saturday, Dec. 9, a photographic exhibit of Yap’s seafaring history along with other exhibits will be on display.

Visitors will also have the rare opportunity to taste the traditional offertory, voyaging, and celebratory foods connected with successful long sea voyages.

“This year’s Canoe Festival promises to be a not-to-be-missed experience for not only canoeists but anyone interested in learning more about the seafaring history and traditions of these remote Pacific islands,” said Evans.

For more information, visit www.visityap.com or email Tom Tamangmow at the Yap Visitors Bureau at tomyvb@mail.fm or by phone at (691) 350-2298. (PR)

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