Kaula Piko

The Source of Strings

July 18, 2020 — January 31, 2021

Starting in the late nineteenth century, Hawaiian musicians began a major movement that spread far beyond their island home. Bishop Museum’s Kaula Piko: The Source of Strings exhibit will, for the first time, present these groundbreaking individuals as more than the virtuoso performers they are already known to be.

Coming Soon

July 18, 2020 — January 31, 2021

Museum Hours

Open Every Day
9 am – 5 pm


All Ages


J.M. Long Gallery


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 Royal Hawaiian Band in front of Aliʻiōlani Hale in Honolulu, 1883. (Bishop Museum Archives)
Hawaii pavilion at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893. Musicians and hula dancers performed in the small domed structure on the left. (Private collection)
“Beautiful Flowers (Nani Na Pua),” arranged by Liliʻuokalani (Miss Lydia Kamakaʻeha Pākī), was the first Hawaiian song published as sheet music, in Boston in 1869. (Bishop Museum Library)

Their pioneering influence in both performance styles as well as the actual design and construction of instruments is little-known, but is of international significance, and is still with us today. Kaula Piko explores this musical legacy of Hawai‘i through a detailed lineage of our immense and long-lasting contribution to the world of music.

Mahalo to our contributing sponsor:


Kaula Piko: The Source of Strings is a collaboration of Bishop Museum and Kealakai Center for Pacific Strings.

Top image:
Ernest Kaai’s Royal Hawaiian Troubadours, ca. 1912.
(Hawai‘i State Archives, PP33-1-006)