Transportation in historical Hawaii was mostly by water and on foot due to the absence of roadways. Canoes were ideal since their hulls could clear the coral reefs.
Hawaiian canoes were the finest in the Pacific and were simple, sturdy, efficient and not burdened with surface ornamentation. The outrigger canoe was paddled or sailed from one seaside village to another, often within the protection of a coral reef. The passengers served as paddlers and the cargo of food and craft articles was stored in the hull.
Traditional Making of Hawaiian Canoes:
The selecting and cutting of a tree in the forest for use as a canoe hull was carried out with traditional religious rites. The roughly hollowed hull was hauled from the rain forest to the beach where it would be finished. After feasting and prayers, the canoe was completed.
Testing and Consecrating Canoe:
Before it was declared sea worthy, the kahuna tested it on a trial trip and a feast of consecration was held with offerings of pig, red fish, and coconuts.