Tuesday, 24 November 2009

To Clarify

    Just recently Julie and I attended the New Zealand Proa Congress at Whangaparaoa a few miles north of Auckland city. Several people asked me about my motivation to build and develop proas and if I had plans that could be followed.

    My answer?
I've covered some of this already in my dissertation "Takapu the Proa"

    My motivation is to understand the people and the thinking behind this very unique sailing paradigm, so different from the one I grew up with.

    I believe that the only way gain insight and to understand is to do what others have done before me, not just read about it through the experience and observations of others or observe myself (although that too may be part of the process). Whilst engaged in the process of doing I find that I begin to have a conversation,  both with myself and with something outside of myself. I rarely calculate or draw my solutions but rather I draw from materials and solutions around me with the idea in mind that the universe provides more solutions than the problems that we can create. Many solutions already exist or existed which we either have not yet seen, have forgotten, never knew about or will never know. Toroa has emerged from this process in his current form. There are still details that need addressing, the solutions, already known or awaiting discovery.

    I have not provided plans for Toroa as I'm unwilling to support any potential demand because of the amount of work involved in drawing and publishing them. I don't see this as part of my journey. Toroa is also something of a one man horse, emerging simultaneously with me. I have also developed sailing instincts and experiences that take years to acquire and hone. For me the process of building and sailing go together. I would encourage that others try a similar approach.

    Toroa resonates to the pattern set out by the ancient Micronesians however he is a product of my own vocabulary of skills. I am familiar with my chosen materials and processes, all of which are derived from my surroundings. In this way I am no different from any boat builder who has gone before.
Different from modern boat builders I am following a pattern in an improvisational sense rather than following a specific set of predetermined instructions, this in my opinion is the timeless way of building.

    The more I learn from my experience the more I value this intuitive approach which informs so much else of what I do.


1 comment:

  1. Hi! How arew you? My names Bailon and I am from Polland. Yours site is wonderful. Mayby exchange? This is my siote www.magicznerodzenstwo.ownlog.com


Toroa by Harmen Hielkema & Mike Toy.

Header Photo: Toroa at Rawene by Julie Holton.

This blog is dedicated to the memory of my father Roelof Hielkema who instilled in me the willingness to learn.
These pages are intended to inform and add to the growing body of knowledge concerning the Canoe Culture of the Pacific, past, present & future, from the Tupuna, the Ancestors of the Pacific cultures to the people of the world.

These pages contain Images and text relating to our two proas, Toroa & Takapu, some history relating to our experiments & experiences.

The dissertation that I posted on this blog in April 2008 "Takapu The Proa" was written by me in 1997 in response to an assignment that I was set whilst studying for my design degree. The dissertation covers many issues that a proa enthusiast may benefit from reading about.

Waka define culture as culture defines waka

Waka reflect the individuality and uniqueness of a society which in turn is governed by the geography, geology, topography, climate, location, resources, isolation, origin, flora, fauna, flotsam, jetsam, etc.

Waka are our link to the past, they have shaped our present and define our future.

Waka are the vessels of knowledge, physical and mental development, freedom of bondage to the land, key to our inquisitiveness, expressions of our ingenuity and courage, our love of shape and form, the seat of our power.

Waka are the source of our material culture, from which all processes are derived.

Waka are who and what we are.