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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Hawaiian Hook

Connecting the Past with the Future through Hawaiian Archaeological Collections: The Ho'omaka Hou Research Initiative Online Fishhook Database

presented by Dr. Mara Mulrooney, Anthropologist, Bishop Museum
Thursday, April 2, 2015 | 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. | in Atherton Hālau
FREE to the General Public & Museum Members

The Polynesians who arrived to Hawaii's shores around 1,000 years ago brought tools and knowledge with them to ensure that people thrived in these islands. Their tools included makau, or fishhooks, which initially bore striking similarities to those from the ancestral homeland in the islands to the south. Through time, Ancient Hawaiians adapted their fishing technology to local environments, and they invented new and innovative forms of fishhooks, like the iconic two-piece fishhook, which is unique to the Hawaiian Islands.

The Archaeology Collections housed at Bishop Museum include the largest collection of Hawaiian fishhooks in the world. In this special presentation, Dr. Mara Mulrooney (Anthropologist, Bishop Museum) will present a new publicly-accessible online database that features nearly 4,000 fishhooks from three cultural sites in the Ka'ū District of Hawai'i Island. These sites were investigated by archaeologists from Bishop Museum and the University of Hawai'i, Hilo during the 1950s, and they are the current focus of collections-based research projects at Bishop Museum. As Dr. Mulrooney will share, these collections continue to hold great potential for teaching us about Hawai'i's cultural past.

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Made possible with generous support from:

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Traditions of the Pacific
Native Hawaiian Child-rearing Pracices

Traditions & Insights in Native Hawaiian Child-Rearing Practices

presented by Carol Titcomb, MD
Thursday, May 21, 2015 | 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. | in Atherton Hālau
Tuition: $10 General; Museum Members are FREE (with valid member ID)

How does one raise a health Hawaiian child? Parents are eager to learn how best to guide children through challenging contemporary times and carry Hawaiian values and traditions into the uncharted future. Dr. Titcomb, a pediatrician who has practiced medicine in Wai‘anae, Waimānalo and Papakolea, conducted a descriptive study involving in-depth interviews of 21 kūpuna (elders) documenting recollections of child-rearing practices. Their reflections provide a guide to creating family resilience and well-being. Dr. Titcomb conducted this study as part of a research fellowship at the University of Hawai‘i, School of Medicine's Department of Native Hawaiian Health.

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Hawaiian man and teen

Hawaiian Beliefs and Perspectives of Aging

presented by Earl Kawaa, MSW
Thursday, June 18, 2015 | 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. | in Atherton Hālau
Tuition: $10 General; Museum Members are FREE (with valid member ID)
Note: Due to family commitments, our previous speaker, Kahu David Kaupu, will be unable to present on this topic.

The culmination of the series takes us to the setting years of the life span. In Hawaiian tradition, kūpuna (elders) are venerated centerpieces of society. Kūpuna attain respect and longevity through maiau (meticulous work) and ma'ema'e (cleanliness). Penetrating and revealing aspects of Hawaiian views of living and aging will be discussed by Earl Kawaa of Kamehameha Schools. Earl Kawaa, MSW was born and raised in in Hālawa Valley, Moloka'i, a remote rural Hawaiian community. He is a mānaleo (native speaker), skilled cultural practitioner, and esteemed educator. Trained as a social worker he has worked with Hawaiian families and in Hawaiian communities for his entire career. He presently works for Kamehameha Schools and is active in Hawaiian communities across Hawai'i developing family resiliency through Papa Ku‘i ‘Ai, a class that reestablishes poi pounding as a family value and practice.

These presentations were made possible with support of the University of Hawai'i John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Native Hawaiian Health, and its Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence (HRSA 2D34HP16044). The content is solely the responsibility of the presenters and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funders.

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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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