Dragon Boat racing is

about spirit, synchronicity and positive energy. A team absolutely needs to be one in spirit and have faith in themselves and the team as a whole to have success in the boat. When a team creates this sort of a bond, they function like a tight-knit family. That is what Wikiwiki Wahine has become.

Throughout the years we have dedicated our workouts to each other and care deeply about one another's well being. The feeling of a team that truly has a common goal to succeed and is working diligently toward that goal is invigorating and gives energy during individual workouts and team practices.

I am grateful for my Wikiwiki Wahine family both on and off the water, in and off season as we help one another to grow and improve. Imua!

Julie Deters, Team manager, lead pacer, and founder of Wikiwiki Wahine

About Dragon Boat Racing

A dragon boat is a human-powered boat traditionally made of teak wood to various designs and sizes. It is one of a family of Traditional Long Boats found throughout Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands. It is now used in the team paddling sport of dragon boat racing which originated in China over 2000 years ago. While competition has taken place annually for more than 20 centuries as part of folk ritual, it emerged in modern times as an international sport in Hong Kong in 1976.

The standard crew complement of a contemporary dragon boat is around 22, comprising 20 paddlers in pairs facing toward the bow of the boat, 1 drummer or caller at the bow facing toward the paddlers, and 1 sweep or helmsman at the rear of the boat.

Dragon Boat History

Borrowed from the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival Site

The Dragon Boat Race itself originated in Ancient China, and its history is as rich and full as any classic tragedy. The most popular legend that accounts for the origin of the race is well stated in the next passage by Pat Barker, in Dragon Boats: A Celebration:

Perhaps the most popular legend recounted would be that of Qu Yuan, a great patriot and poet who lived in China during the Warring States period (481-221 BC). This era was one of extraordinary political, economic, and social change. With only seven of the great feudal kingdoms remaining, it was a time of treachery and shifting alliances. The smaller and less resourceful states of Yan, Han, Zhao, and Wei depended on shrewd diplomacy to maintain a precarious autonomy. Military assistance was supplied to developing states to block possible takeovers by opposing states.

The larger, more powerful states of Qi in the northeast, Qin in the far west, and Chu in the south controlled vast tracts of land that were rich in resources and were capable of sustaining large armies. These larger states were known for their barbaric ways and were feared by all. Qin was particularly infamous for its brutal warfare and savagery. On one occasion when Zhao troops had been divided by a strategic Qin maneuver, they surrendered on the trust that their lives would be spared. Instead, the Qin army slaughtered the 450,000 Zhao troops by burying them alive.

The state of Qin, determined to conquer Chu, drew up a fake treaty, which it encouraged the king of Chu to sign. Qu Yuan, one of the most trusted advisers in Chu, cautioned his king against signing the treaty.

However, in an atmosphere of internal strive and struggles for status and control, Qu Yuan stood on dangerous ground. For all his good intentions his advise was misinterpreted by the king, who saw it as an attempt to assume greater political power. As punishment, the king had Qu Yuan banished to a remote area of southern China in Hunan Province.

Qu Yuan spend the remaining years of his life in a state of depression, wandering aimlessly about the countryside. He continued to write poetry, professing his live for his country and his people, but the dishonor of an unwarranted exile became a burden to his soul. He was further shattered when he learned of Chu's eventual fall to its rival, the state of Qin.

So, on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in approximately 278 BC, Qu Yuan, with his arms clasped firmly around a huge rock, walked down to the Miluo River and threw himself into its torrents.

News of Qu Yuan's suicide spread quickly among the villagers. Hundreds of local fishermen raced out in their boats in an attempt to save him, but to no avail. They beat their drums and splashed their paddles in the water to prevent fish and water dragons from eating his body.

According to legend, in 40 BC, the ghost of Qu Yuan appeared before the local fishermen. He explained to the men that his spirit was hungry because a river dragon had been eating the rice that was meant for him. To ward off the dragon so that his spirit could rest, he asked that the rice be wrapped in silk and tied with the colors of the emperor - in threads of red, blue, white, yellow, and black. These were colors also known to be dreaded by the water dragon."

Women's Dragonboat Team

Contact Wikiwiki Wahine:

Wikiwiki Wahine Dragon Boat Team   .   PO Box 161216   .   Duluth, MN 55816   .   wikiwikiwahine.dbt@gmail.com      facebookFollow us on facebook