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Moana meets the real McCoy

HAWAIIAN actress Auli’i Cravalho, famed for her voice as Moana in the hit animated Disney movie, which features The Rock, Samoan Dwayne Johnson, was caught in the shadows of a real ocean princess when she turned up to welcome home the Hokule’a.

Cravalho was introduced to Fijian sailor Iva Vunikura, a former South Pacific Games gold medallist powerlifter and Fijiana rugby player – who sailed on the ocean-going Uto Ni Yalo to the Americas and back to Fiji through the Pacific – and was mesmerised by the woman sailor on board the Okeanos Marshalls, a vaka motu which accompanied the Hokule’a home. “She was more excited to meet me than I was to see her when we hooked up,” Vunikura told Islands Business.

“I am a fan of Moana because of the message the movie portrays to viewers across the world. The story of that little princess and her way-finding adventure tells our story in the Pacific. “The story of our ancestors and how we rely on nature – the stars, the wind and the ocean – to navigate our way across vast distances and for our very lives.”

The pair chatted and Vunikura’s adventures excited the screen star, who joined thousands of her own people on the foreshore to catch a glimpse of the ocean explorers who relieved the ancient sailing methods shown in the movie.

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