Researching the Project
Prior to meeting with community leaders it was necessary for me to gain an understanding of the culture, the community and the protocol of interactions. This approach allowed an appropriate introduction and set the groundwork for further relations. The importance of the proposed project, in this case the canoe, within the culture was also emphasized. Reviewing the historical precedence of past projects helped me to clarify the initial meeting with the community leaders and conceptualize the project through to completion.

The Kapingamarangi are extremely community oriented. The order of command begins with the chief and moves from there. Still, whenever a question was asked of Andrew Lucky concerning the community he would usually consult with other members of the community before replying. Historically, the importance of the canoe to the Kapingamarangi was great. Traditionally, a house was built without fanfare, whereas the construction of a canoe was a community event blessed by religious and political leaders alike.

Locating A Master Carver
Ideally, the process of choosing a master carver should be done by the chief of the community. His choice is usually arrived at through community discussion and is, by design, supported by the group. Should any problems arise during the project, the chief and the community are there to help solve them. For the Kapingamarangi, a canoe is not built by one man, but by the community. Allowing the community to lead with choosing the builders is important. A construction crew chosen in this manner allows the individual carvers of the crew a respected position in the community.