Navigator Weather Charm


      Micronesian navigators used spirit effigies for protection and as weather charms to calm storms that threatened their sailing canoes at sea.  The hos weather charm seen here made on Lamotrek Atoll in the Outer Islands of Yap symbolizes Yaliulewaiy, an important patron spirit of navigators (paliuw).  Literally translated, Yaliulewaiy means both "Spirit of the Voyage" and "Spirits of the Voyage" as the effigy is often created as a Janus figure with two faces looking in opposite directions.  The name hos derives from the sting ray spines which were ritually attached with coral limestone containing secret ingredients to the bottom of a carved wooden figure.  Young coconut palm leaves were tied to the figure to summon the aid of patron spirits.

Urupiy performs a navigator chant using the hos weather charm
(Images from the documentary, Spirits of the Voyage)

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To see another  hos
Navigator weather charm

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For information about the film
Spirits of the Voyage


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