THE HEALER STONES OF KAPAEMAHU
June 18 – October 16, 2022

Cover Image: Artist’s rendition of the stones and healers from the animated short film Kapaemahu. (Kanaka Pakipika).

Discover the long-hidden history of four mysterious stones on Waikīkī Beach, and the legendary dual male and female healing spirits within them.

On View

June 18 – October 16, 2022

Museum Hours

Open Daily
9 am – 5 pm
Closed Thanksgiving
& Christmas Day

Ages

All Ages

Location

Castle Building

Admission

Members: Free
Adults: $24.95
Seniors (65+): $21.95
Youth (4–17): $16.95
Children (3 and under): Free
Children age 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu exhibition explores the past and contemporary meanings of four large stones that were long ago placed on Waikīkī Beach to honor four māhū, extraordinary individuals of dual male and female spirit, who brought healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaiʻi. Although the stones have survived for centuries, the story behind them has been suppressed and the respected role of māhū erased.

Within the Castle Memorial Building, visitors will encounter a life-size rendering of the stones and spirits in the main gallery, then watch their story unfold in a captivating, animated film. Guests will continue from the theater to an enormous room lined with projection screens and be immersed in the long history of the site and its story.

This exhibition is an opportunity to learn about the holistic healing beliefs and practices of Hawaiians, who view the body, mind, and spirit as one; the body cannot be made well without healing the spirit. Examples of lāʻau lapaʻau (herbal medicines) and rarely seen 19th century lomilomi (massage) implements will be on display.

The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu is presented in both English and ʻōlelo Niʻihau, the only form of Hawaiian unbroken by foreign contact. This marks Bishop Museum’s most comprehensive use of the Hawaiian language in an exhibit to date, signaling its commitment to centering the exhibition in a Hawaiian worldview.

Few of the millions of people who pass by the stones of Kapaemahu know their full story and meaning. Our hope is for this exhibition to start a conversation that will help restore this wahi pana, or storied site, as a permanent reminder of Hawaiʻi’s long history of healing and inclusion.

Image: Artist’s rendition of the stones and healers from the animated short film Kapaemahu. (Kanaka Pakipika).

Image: The stones of Kapaemahu in 1910, shortly after they were resurfaced and grouped together in the yard of the Waikīkī beach house of Governor Archibald Cleghorn, husband of Princess Likelike and father of Princess Kaʻiulani. (Bishop Museum Archives)
Image: Three māhū at the Glade Show Lounge and the button they wore to avoid arrest for violating the “intent to deceive” law, from about 1973. (Bishop Museum Archives)

Image: Roquin-Jon Q. Siongco, Ge’la, or Pasifik Queer Islander, from the island of Guåhan, Laguås yan Gåni (Guam, The Mariana Islands). (Kanaka Pakipika).

Kapaemahu Public Programs

The Kapaemahu Program Series is generously supported by McInerny Foundation, Bank of Hawaii, Trustee.

October 2022
No event found!

Mahalo to our generous supporters who helped make this exhibit possible:

Presenting Sponsor

C.N. Wodehouse
Bishop Museum Trust

Major Sponsor

Sustaining Sponsor

Hospitality Sponsor

 

Media sponsor

 

Front Image: Illustration from Kapaemahu by Daniel Sousa