Agency-wide Projects: ARP-Organizations (Public-related)

Period of Performance

10/1/2021 - 9/30/2022

Funding Totals

$50,000.00 (approved)
$50,000.00 (awarded)

Resuming the Voyage

FAIN: ZPP-283232-22

500 Sails (Saipan, MP 96950-8901)
Peter Jay Perez (Project Director: May 2021 to September 2023)

Reopening programs that teach Indigenous canoe building and explore pre-colonial sea life.

500 Sails works to revive and support the practice of canoe culture in the Northern Mariana Islands through programs that teach participants to build and sail traditional Indigenous canoes. They conduct outreach in schools and at public events that presents local history from the Indigenous perspective, presenting a narrative that frames the Indigenous experience as one of resisting and ultimately overcoming colonial aggression - a narrative in which the return of Indigenous canoes and canoe culture is the latest chapter in the story. This work is a real-life application of the benefits of humanities work as it is the recorded historic record that enables this revival of canoe culture that will improve quality of life and strengthen Indigenous cultural identity in the CNMI. 500 Sails' programs were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project provides funding support for a gradual ramp-up of programs back to pre-pandemic levels.

Media Coverage

500 Sails’ canoe now a permanent feature of community sails (Media Coverage)
Author(s): 500 Sails
Publication: Saipan Tribune
Date: 10/19/2022
Abstract: 500 Sails held official launch of Ånimuyi in San Jose on October 10. 500 Sails spent part of 2021 and most of 2022 creating Ånimuyi. She is a 15-foot vessel made out of modern fiberglass and bamboo; however, like all 500 Sails canoes, she is based on the Anson drawing, which was what Chamorros were sailing in 1742. A unique feature of Ånimuyi is her design, skillfully painted by artist Maria Manalo, who took inspiration from patterns she found in the natural world. 500 Sails aims for the day it can see a horizon full of sails. Pictured here from left to right are canoes Aunty Oba, Richard Seman, Deedee, and Ånimuyi. Managaha is in the background. Photo courtesy of Nonstop Corp. (NONSTOP CORP.) Beginning in the month of September, after Ånimuyi was completed, she was exhibited in the Bank of Saipan with various canoe models and other seafaring items. To celebrate Commonwealth Cultural Day on Oct. 10, 500 Sails officially launched the 15-foot sailing canoe.

Associated Products

Bank of Saipan Exhibit (Exhibition)
Title: Bank of Saipan Exhibit
Curator: Bank of Saipan
Abstract: Bank of Saipan on opening of its new branch on Beach Road asked 500 Sails to do an exhibit.
Year: 2022
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: This a video of 500 Sails Exhibit in the beautiful new branch of the Bank of Saipan on Beach Road. Along with the launch of the new canoe Animuyi on the water, the exhibit's highlight was the reveal of the museum quality model of the Carolinian Fishing Canoe made by Mario Benito.
Secondary URL: http://
Secondary URL Description: Pictures of second duduli protype and two galaides (paddling canoes)