A group of excited locals, including Palau Visitors Authority Chairman Ngiraibelas Tmetuchl, PVA Managing Director Stephanie Nakamura, and PVA staff Chloe Yano, witnessed a rare maiden voyage of a traditional sailing canoe, called Miluu’s Pride.
Although this form of traditional practice has been inactive in the islands of Palau for decades, this incredible piece of art form was realized, and truly began with a little girl’s dream and her parents’ quest to see her dream become reality.
The eight-year old girl behind this is Miluu Leidich, daughter of Ron Leidich and Leticia Leidich. After watching the popular, fictional film, “Moana”, Miluu was filled with all sorts of questions and excitement for canoes. Her father says, “this one Disney film swung her pendulum back in the direction of island pride and traditional practices.”
Miluu’s pride took nearly six months of preparation and construction, and a carving team of six individuals from the islands of Sonsorol, Ifalik, Satawal, and Woolei. Master carver Mr. Akilino Albis and his apprentice Bernard J. Mawaisiug spearheaded this dream project. And, as of today, there are currently two traditional sailing canoes.
Thanks to a young girl’s dream, her parents and a team of artisans, they have welcomed another nostalgic recreational activity, where visitors may enjoy authenticity. Ron Leidich very much wishes to see more locals, especially kids, experience such activity and have this be a normal, everyday activity.
Currently, it is at its sea trial stage and should be ready for customers to participate and enjoy in March. (PR)