Traditions of the Pacific lecture series

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Traditions of the Pacific is an ongoing educational program that explores the natural and cultural history of Hawai‘i and the Pacific through dynamic lectures, workshops, fieldtrips, and films.  Everyone is welcome to attend, and Bishop Museum members receive special postcard mailings and free/discounted tuition for these events. Not a member?
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Traditions of the Pacific

The 'Ōpelu Project

presented by Eric Enos of Ka‘ala Farm

Thursday, November 20, 2014
6:00 – 7:30 p.m. | Atherton Hālau | RSVP Online
Tuition: $10 general admission; FREE to Museum Members (w/ valid ID)

'Ōpelu fishing is a traditional Hawaiian method of fishing for the prized 'ōpelu (mackerel scad) using large nets cast from the hollowed out koa-wood canoes. Back in the late 1970s, Eric Enos of Ka'ala Farm and kupuna practitioners, Uncle Walter Paulo and Uncle Eddie Kaanana reestablished the 'ōpelu ko'a fishery to perpetuate the aquaculture program and develop the combination of modern technology with traditional Hawaiian practices. 'Ōpelu canoes were built, and the fishery revived as a working demonstration of what was possible, and what could be improved upon using modern methods and materials. The 'Ōpelu Project has been on indefinite hiatus in recent years due to the unfortunate passing of two founding members; but Eric Enos continues his dedicated community work among the lo'i of Ka'ala Farm situated in Wai'anae Valley.

Alan Akaka

In this presentation, Eric Enos will look back at past accomplishments and challenges of the 'Ōpelu Project, and forward to reviving the art of 'ōpelu fishing with woodworking skill-building using invasive trees to build the 'ōpelu canoe. To supplement the presentation, there will be an authentic 'ōpelu canoe on display courtesy of the Friends of Hokule'a & Hawai'iloa. In addition, there will also be a accompanying video segment of Uncle Walter and Uncle Eddie 'ōpelu fishing outside Waianae, and traditional nets from the Museum's own Cultural Collections. Through current community building activities, and past ones like the 'Ōpelu Project, Eric and Ka'ala Farm aim to empower the kupuna, keiki, and families of the Wai'anae coast to build stronger ties and strengthen traditions that will be passed on from generation to generation.

Illustration by Eric Enos

RSVP Online

Seating limited!
For information, call 808.847.8296 or email 

Not a member?  Join Bishop Museum today to enjoy these programs and support the Museum’s important work to preserve and celebrate Hawai‘i’s cultural and natural heritage with through exhibits, research, and programming.

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