Questions for Kimo: Our family is re-locating to Hawaii and we are wondering where's the best place to learn about Hawaiian culture?
In my opinion the best and most family orientated place to learn about Hawaiian culture is the Bishop Museum, located at 1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, Hawai'i 96817 Phone: 808.847.3511. The Museum is located in Palama just off the Like Like and H1 Highways. It's a little bit out of the way for tourists and new comers but it's well worth the trip for visitors and locals alike.
"The Bishop Museum is the largest museum in the state and the premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific, recognized throughout the world for its cultural collections, research projects, consulting services and public educational programs. It also has one of the largest natural history specimen collections in the world. Serving and representing the interests of Native Hawaiians is a primary purpose of the Museum."-Bishop Museum
The Museums purpose:
Founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop, as a posthumous honorarium to his wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi, the Bishop Museum was designed to house the large and comprehensive collection of royal heirlooms and Hawaiian artifacts of the late Princess, the last royal descendant of the Kamehameha line. The collection has since expanded to include millions of Hawaiian and Pan-Pacific cultural artifacts, art work, historical documents, and photographs.
Here are some photos of my last visit to the Museum. It should be noted that the spectacular Hawaiian Hall, with it's stunning Koa paneling and galleries is currently being refurbished but there is plenty to see, none the less.
Greeting visitors on their arrival to the museum is the life size lava rock reproduction of the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Moai.
The Jhamandas Watumull Planetarium offers a fascinating look at the importance of celestial observation to Polynesian cultures. Celestial navigation and the lunar calender was of great importance to Hawaiian cultural life in the past. Today the Mauna Kea observatory complex on the Big Island is at the forefront of Astronomical Science in the world. The Planataruim offers showings daily. If your interested in seeing the planetarium check the times for showings in advance and plan your visit to the museum around it, otherwise you may miss out. For more information-
Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center is designed specifically as an interactive learning center for children, including exhibits focused on volcanology, marine, and other related sciences. This is a very fun interactive area and you don't need to be a kid to enjoy it. Dominating the exhibit is a volcano that you can enter inside of and make 'erupt'.
You will find an amazing variety of Hawaiian artifacts from ancient times to present day such as this contemporary art piece by local artist Maika'i Tubbs-
Temple Tiki of Ku, god of war- Collection of Makau - Man in Ahu Ula and Mahiole-
These costumes were designed to frighten the women folk as an amusement in New Caladonia
Canoe paddles, Solomon Islands- Tongan Mace- Maori skirt and feathered bag-
Hours and admission costs
Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except on Christmas (Dec 25). There is ample free parking on our campus.
Free Admission to Bishop Museum Members
General - Adult $ 15.95
General - Senior, 65 & over $ 12.95
General - child (ages 4-12) $ 12.95
General - child (age 3 & under) Free
The following rates are available for kama'āina and military visitors to Bishop Museum:
$8.95 - General Admissison
$7.95 - Child (4-12) and Senior (65+)
You will need to show an ID to secure these rates.
Guests visiting the Bishop Museum who are not local residents or military, but are accompanied by someone who is can get a special rate of adults $12.95, youth $9.95, and children 3 and under are free. Otherwise, regular retail admission rates will apply.
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