Moana won’t be released in Australia until Boxing Day, but I got to see it early at a special screening that benefited children’s hospitals. They made $4,000 at our screening just from ticket sales! I don’t want to give away any details about the movie, but it is great! The music is amazing and I loved the characters and the story. All of these crafts are based on things seen in the trailers, but if you don’t want to know anything about this movie, wait to read this until after you’ve seen it.
Moana is a way finder. Way finders use cues from the environment to navigate the ocean. They use their knowledge of ocean currents, the stars, and the behaviors of birds to help them locate new islands and return home. There is mounting scientific evidence based on human and sweet potato genetics, as well as chicken bone radioactive dating, that Polynesians traveled across the ocean to South America and back. For a long time people completely dismissed that as a possibility even though there are language and artifact similarities between people from the Easter Islands and some South Americans. What I think is cool about this movie is that it celebrates Polynesian scientific achievements (their observations of the ocean environment and their hypothesis testing that led them to discover new islands) and I think people who are introduced to Polynesian culture first through this film would be open minded about how far they were able to travel.
Way finders used the location of the stars in the night sky to stay headed in the correct direction. I made these star pictures with a string of star lights and black construction paper. They are based on a toy sold at the Disney Store, but you could make these based on real constellations.
If you are having a Moana party, you could give out necklaces based on things from the movie. I think the charm on this necklace looks a lot like Maui’s hook. You can get theses at Fire Mountain Gems (part number H20-1793JD).
This is my second attempt at Moana’s necklace. I think this version looks more like her necklace, but it is made from a Paua shell (H20-4613NB) which is probably not strong enough to withstand the love of a child. If you want a more robust necklace take a look at my first one. This necklace also has a shell bead (H20-A1239NB) and pearls (H20-9860CX).
I used thin wool yarn to make this necklace. First I used a crocheting chain stitch and when it was half the length I wanted I stitched the Puau shell and shell bead onto the string and then finished the chain. Then I made single crochet stitches until I got near the shell and made a few chain stitches and slip stiched to make little nobs in the chain and then rejoined to the main work after a few more chain stitches.
I used real freshwater pearls for this necklace and they usually have very narrow holes in them so I needed to sew those on to the necklace with thread after I was done with the rest of it.
There is a crab in this movie named Tamatoa who likes to put shiny things on his shell. I made and arranged these cupcakes to look like the top of his shell.
I used shell shaped chocolates and I sprinkled some edible gold glitter on them. I also added some Rocher chocolates and gold sugar to them. I painted some real shells with gold glitter and added some little gold coins around the cupcakes so they made more of a circle shape.
Here’s a close up of what the cupcakes look like.
Here is my Moana party table. I made a garland for the front of it out of paper leaves.
I made two strings of leaves. The bottom string had long thin leaves. I made these by folding construction paper in fourths and then cutting out the leaf shape.
I drew this leaf free hand and added some parchment leaves to that string also. The parchment leaves are deco leaves from Euroquest.
I put sweet potatoes into a wooden bowl (I got this bowl at Crate and Barrel quite a few years ago), and made a sail to make it look like Moana’s boat. The sail is supported by a wooden chopstick. Make sure you use put the stick into the food until it reaches all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Otherwise it may not stay up well. The Kakamora flash light is from the Disney Store.