The Story of Lata

Solomon Islands
Click to download audio as: MP3

The Story of Lata explores the efforts by the people of a remote part of Solomon Islands to preserve their traditional boat building culture and navigation. It explores traditional Polynesian navigation in a region where the technology and knowledge is still intact. We listen to the older women who remember the old days of sailing, and who consider their role were this tradition to be revived. And we also consider the reality of modern life, which they are slowly being required to adapt to. How feasible is it to revive these ancient arts, which take time to learn?

Behind the whole story is the myth of Lata, which guides us into a profound understanding of the limitlessness of time and space so necessary to the navigators behind the Polynesian navigation, and consider that our modern world could do well to be informed by the patience and durability which it required.

For more information about Vaka Taumako and their crucial work to support traditional cultures in the Solomon Islands visit their site:


“Producer Stephanie Guyer-Stevens has sailed halfway around the world to bring us a beautifully produced story just in time for Asian Pacific Heritage Month. “The Story of Lata” explores the cultural traditions and contemporary challenges of Solomon Islanders in a remote corner of the South Pacific. Here, the tides of modern life have steadily eroded away knowledge of the ancient arts of sailing and navigation that once defined this culture. And it’s Polynesian women who remember the old ways.

Learning again, from the story of their cultural hero, Lata, to build te puke (canoes). Guyer-Stevens weaves a wonderful watery tale with just the right amount of culture, a taste of technology, and good old storytelling: perfect summer listening.” Catherine Stifter, Producer


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