ALOHA FROM JENNIE: Our island's most extensive collection of Polynesian artifacts is displayed at Bishop Museum on Oahu. The state's largest museum was established in 1889 to honor Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family.
Nestled in the heart of Honolulu, the spacious grounds contain pavilions and a native Hawaiian garden, as well as the various buildings that house millions of cultural artifacts, natural history specimens, a planetarium and the third largest insect collection in America.
One of the buildings rotate limited engagement exhibitions. The current 'Dinosaurs Unleashed' event is popular among kids due to the animatronic dinos with roaring sound effects. There are interactive stations so that children can maneuver skeletons and dig for bones.
The Hawaiian Hall complex includes a magnificent three story open gallery, with the various floors celebrating Polynesian legends and gods and showcasing the skills applied by Hawaiians in creating tools, vessels, clothing and everything else needed to live, work and play. The raw materials used in crafting these objects are timeless: Wood, stone, leaves, dyes from plant juices, and feathers to name a few. Techniques used to weave baskets and hats, regal clothing and headdresses are explained in informative outlines or videos.
Unlike the exuberant dinosaur exhibits, the giant galleries in the Hall are hushed with reverence. The exhibits convey the harmony that existed between the Hawaiians and their way of living on the land, with respect for the elements of water, wind and stone.
The Bishop Museum is a tranquil place to soak up Hawaiian culture, past and present. The organization serves our community with research and educational programs, and hopefully our residents and visitors will support and recognize their efforts by coming back often!