The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, designated the Hawaiʻi State Museum of Natural and Cultural History, is a museum of history and science in the historic Kalihi district of Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu. Founded in 1889, it is the largest museum in Hawai'i and has the world's largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts and natural history specimens. Besides the comprehensive exhibits of Hawaiiana, the museum's total holding of natural history specimens exceeds 24 million, of which the entomological collection alone represents more than 13.5 million specimens (making it the third-largest insect collection in the United States). The museum is accessible on public transit: TheBus Routes A, 1, 2, 7, 10.
The museum complex is home to the Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center.
The Hawaiian Hall at the Bishop Museum contains the world's largest collection of Polynesian artifacts
|Location||1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, Hawaii|
|Architect||William F. Smith|
|Architectural style||Richardsonian Romanesque|
|NRHP reference #||82002500|
|Added to NRHP||July 26, 1982|
Charles Reed Bishop (1822–1915), a businessman and philanthropist, co-founder of the First Hawaiian Bank and Kamehameha Schools, built the museum in memory of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop (1831–1884). Born into the royal family, she was the last legal heir of the Kamehameha Dynasty, which had ruled the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi between 1810 and 1872. Bishop had originally intended the museum to house family heirlooms passed down to him through the royal lineage of his wife.
Bishop hired William Tufts Brigham as the first curator of the museum; Brigham later served as director from 1898 until his retirement in 1918.
The museum was built on the original boys' campus of Kamehameha Schools, an institution created at the bequest of the Princess, to benefit native Hawaiian children; she gave details in her last will and testament. In 1898, Bishop had Hawaiian Hall and Polynesian Hall built on the campus, in the popular Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style. The Pacific Commercial Advertiser newspaper dubbed these two structures as "the noblest buildings of Honolulu".
Today both halls are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hawaiian Hall is home to a complete sperm-whale skeleton, accompanied by a papier-mâché body suspended above the central gallery. Along the walls are prized koa wood display cases; today this wood in total is worth more than the original Bishop Museum buildings.
In 1940, Kamehameha Schools moved to its new campus in Kapālama, allowing the museum to expand at the original campus site. Bishop Hall, first built for use by the school, was adapted for museum use. Most other school structures were razed, and new museum facilities were constructed. By the late 1980s, the Bishop Museum had become the largest natural and cultural history institution in Polynesia.
In 1988, construction of the Castle Memorial Building was begun. Dedicated on January 13, 1990, Castle Memorial Building houses all the major traveling exhibits that come to the Bishop Museum from institutions around the world.
The Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center opened in November 2005. The building is designed as a learning center for children, and includes many interactive exhibits focused on marine science, volcanology, and related sciences.
The museum library has one of the most extensive collections of books, periodicals, newspapers and special collections concerned with Hawai'i and the Pacific. The archives hold the results of extensive studies done by museum staff in the Pacific Basin, as well as manuscripts, photographs, artwork, oral histories, commercial sound recordings and maps.
Many of Hawaiʻi's royalty, including Bernice Pauahi Bishop and Queen Liliʻuokalani, deposited their personal papers at Bishop Museum. Manuscripts in the collection also include scientific papers, genealogical records, and memorabilia.
The book collection consists of approximately 50,000 volumes with an emphasis on the cultural and natural history of Hawai'i and the Pacific, with subject strengths in anthropology, music, botany, entomology, and zoology. The library provides extra access to the collection of published diaries, narratives, memoirs, and other writings relating to 18th- and 19th-century Hawai'i.
Also on the campus is Pauahi Hall, home to the J. Linsley Gressit Center for Research in Entomology, which houses some 14 million prepared specimens of insects and related arthropods, including over 16,500 primary types. It is the third-largest entomology collection in the United States and the eighth-largest in the world. An active research facility, Pauahi Hall is not open to the public.
Nearby is Pākī Hall, home to the Hawaiʻi Sports Hall of Fame, a museum library and archives, which are open to the public.
From 1988 until 2009, the Bishop Museum also administered the Hawaiʻi Maritime Center in downtown Honolulu. Built on a former private pier of Honolulu Harbor for the royal family, the center was the premier maritime museum in the Pacific Rim with artifacts in relation to the Pacific whaling industry and the Hawaiʻi steamship industry.
Since 1920, the Secretariat of the Pacific Science Association (PSA), founded that year as an independent regional, non-governmental, scholarly organization, has been based at Bishop Museum. It seeks to advance science and technology in support of sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific.
In 1924, American millionaire, Medford Ross Kellum, outfitted a four masted barkantine for a scientific expedition which, even the naming of the ship Kaimiloa, was left entirely to the scientific circles of Honolulu.
The goal of the expedition was a five-year exploration of many of the then inaccessible spots of the Pacific. Under the auspices of the Bishop Museum, a group of Hawaiian scientists joined the ship: Gerrit P. Wilder, botanist; Mrs. Wilder, historian; Kenneth Emory, ethnologist; Dr. Armstrong Sperry, writer and illustrator; and Dr. Stanley Ball.
The vessel was a complete floating laboratory, possibly the most complete of any craft that has undertaken a similar trip. Bottles, crates, and boxes were stowed below, along with gallons of preservatives for insects and plant specimens for the Bishop Museum. The goals of the expedition were exhaustive:
From 1968 until September 2008, the Bishop Museum owned the Falls of Clyde, the oldest sail-driven oil tanker, which was moored at the Hawai‘i Maritime Center. In early 2007, the ship was closed to public tours for safety reasons and in order to facilitate repairs to the deteriorating tank, which frequently caused the ship to list (tilt) dramatically. Marine experts conducted a thorough inspection of the ship. Between 1998 and 2008 the museum incurred more than $2 million in preservation costs.
The museum threatened to sink the ship by the end of 2008 unless private funds were raised for a perpetual care endowment. On September 28, 2008, ownership was transferred to the non-profit group, Friends of Falls of Clyde, which intends to restore the ship.
In October of that same year, the Bishop Museum was criticized for having raised $600,000 to preserve the ship, and spent only about half that on the ship, and that for sandblasting that was determined to damage the integrity of the vessel. The media also pointed out other questionable spending decisions.
They are prepared to sit around the fire and listen to the ancient legends of the tribal chiefs of the great civilization that existed thousands— maybe million—of years ago; of the cities and the people.
The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature (formerly the South Florida Museum), located in Bradenton, Florida, is a natural and cultural history museum specializing in the history of Florida's gulf coast. It houses exhibits highlighting Florida history from the prehistoric to the present. The Museum also features regularly changing exhibits in the East Gallery, as well as in other small galleries throughout the first and second floors of the Museum.
The Bishop also includes a Planetarium and the Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat, the former home of Snooty the manatee (1948-2017, Snooty was the oldest known manatee in the world at the time of his death). The Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat is a founding member of the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership and has rehabilitated 36 manatees since 1998. The Planetarium, which was opened in the mid-1960s, has since been entirely remodeled and received a significant technical upgrading in October 2013.Charles Montague Cooke Jr.
Charles Montague Cooke Jr. (December 20, 1874 – October 29, 1948) was an American malacologist who published under the name of C. Montague Cooke or C.M. Cooke.Hawaiian art
The Hawaiian archipelago consists of 137 islands in the Pacific Ocean that are far from any other land. Polynesians arrived there one to two thousand years ago, and in 1778 Captain James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to visit Hawaii (which they called the Sandwich Islands). The art created in these islands may be divided into art existing prior to Cook’s arrival; art produced by recently arrived westerners; and art produced by Hawaiians incorporating western materials and ideas. Public collections of Hawaiian art may be found at the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Bishop Museum (Honolulu), the Hawaii State Art Museum and the University of Göttingen in Germany.
In 1967, Hawaii became the first state in the nation to implement a Percent for Art law. The Art in State Buildings Law established the Art in Public Places Program and designated one percent of the construction costs of new public schools and state buildings for the acquisition of works of art, either by commission or by purchase.Hawaiian religion
Hawaiian religion encompasses the indigenous religious beliefs and practices of Native Hawaiians. It is polytheistic and animistic, with a belief in many deities and spirits, including the belief that spirits are found in non-human beings and objects such as other animals, the waves, and the sky.
Hawaiian religion originated among the Tahitians and other Pacific islanders who landed in Hawaiʻi between 500 and 1300 AD. Today, Hawaiian religious practices are protected by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Traditional Hawaiian religion is unrelated to the modern New Age practice known as "Huna."Huna (New Age)
Huna is a Hawaiian word adopted by Max Freedom Long (1890–1971) in 1936 to describe his theory of metaphysics. Long cited what he believed to be the spiritual practices of ancient Hawaiian kahunas (priests) as inspiration; however, the system is his invention, with roots in New Thought and Theosophy, rather than in traditional Hawaiian beliefs. Huna is part of the New Age movement.John Ernest Randall
John Ernest "Jack" Randall (born May 22, 1924) is an American ichthyologist and a leading authority on coral reef fishes. Randall has described over 600 species and has authored 11 books and over 670 scientific papers and popular articles. He has spent most of his career working in Hawaii.Jules C. E. Riotte
The Right Reverend Archimandrite Dr. Jules C. E. Riotte (1901 – May 6, 2000), was a priest of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saint Nicholas in Chicago, and a researcher at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu. He was born in Dresden, Germany of mixed French and Lusatian Sorb heritage. During the Second World War, he was active in the resistance movement against the Nazis and he was briefly interned in a concentration camp. He escaped to Great Britain and worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation as a translator of German and Slavic languages.
He became a Ukrainian Catholic priest and moved to Canada, where he served in many different parishes and missions, including St Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Kingston, Ontario. He was an advocate for Ukraine's independence from Soviet tyranny. A research associate at the Department of Entomology at the Royal Ontario Museum Riotte eventually published over 100 papers in the field.
In 1975, Riotte moved to Hawai‘i, where he worked as a researcher in entomology at the Bishop Museum. He resided at St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church in Kalihi and also served as pastor and episcopal vicar to Eastern Rite Catholics in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, Hawai‘i, conducting daily Divine Liturgy in the Kalihi church. Later, a permanent Ukrainian Catholic church was built in Wai‘anae and dedicated under the title of Saint Sophia.
He was a prolific author of papers in Hawaiian entomology. After his death his remains were returned to Kingston, Ontario, where he was buried in St Mary's Roman Catholic cemetery thanks to the support of the Ukrainian Canadian Club of Kingston and the Kingston Branch of the League of Ukrainian Canadians; a marker recalling his contributions as a man of faith and of science is maintained in that cemetery by the Ukrainian Canadian community there.Kapa
Kapa is a fabric made by native Hawaiians from the bast fibres of certain species of trees and shrubs in the orders Rosales and Malvales.Mahiole
Hawaiian feather helmets, known as mahiole in the Hawaiian language, were worn with feather cloaks (ʻahu ʻula). These were symbols of the highest rank reserved for the men of the aliʻi, the chiefly class of Hawaii. There are examples of this traditional headgear in museums around the world. At least sixteen of these helmets were collected during the voyages of Captain Cook. These helmets are made from a woven frame structure decorated with bird feathers and are examples of fine featherwork techniques. One of these helmets was included in a painting of Cook's death by Johann Zoffany.Mangarevan narrative
Mangarevan narrative (or Mangarevan mythology) comprises the legends, historical tales, and sayings of the ancient Mangarevan people. It is considered a variant of a more general Polynesian narrative, developing its own unique character for several centuries before the 1830s. The religion was officially suppressed in the 19th century, and ultimately abandoned by the natives in favor of Roman Catholicism. The Mangarevan term for god was Etua.Mary Kawena Pukui
Mary Abigail Kawenaʻulaokalaniahiʻiakaikapoliopelekawahineʻaihonuaināleilehuaapele Wiggin Pukui (20 April 1895 – 21 May 1986), known as Kawena, was a Hawaiian scholar, dancer, composer, and educator.Max Freedom Long
Max Freedom Long (October 26, 1890 – September 23, 1971) was an American novelist and New Age author.Neal Evenhuis
Neal Luit Evenhuis (born Kornelus Luit Evenhuis on 16 April 1952;) is an American entomologist. He works at the Bishop Museum in Hawaii. Evenhuis has described over 500 species of insects since 1976, and is known both for his research and peculiar binomial names.Nihoa
Nihoa (; Hawaiian: [niˈhowə]), also known as Bird Island or Moku Manu, is the tallest of ten islands and atolls in the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). The island is located at the southern end of the NWHI chain, 296 km (160 nmi) southeast of Necker Island. Nihoa is the closest NWHI in proximity to the eight main windward Hawaiian Islands at approximately 240 km (130 nmi) northwest of the island of Kauaʻi. The island has two peaks, 272 m (892 ft) Miller's Peak in the west, and 259 m (850 ft) Tanager Peak in the east. Nihoa's area is about 171 acres (0.69 km2) and is surrounded by a 142,000-acre (57,000 ha) coral reef. Its jagged outline gives the island its name, Nihoa, which means "tooth" in the Hawaiian language.The island is home to 25 species of plants and several animals, making it the most diverse island in the entire NWHI. Endemic birds like the Nihoa finch and Nihoa millerbird, and endemic plants like Pritchardia remota, Schiedea verticillata, and Amaranthus brownii are found only on Nihoa. The plant communities and rocky outcrops provide nesting and perching areas for 18 species of seabirds, such as red-footed boobies and brown noddies, terns, shearwaters, and petrels. Prehistoric evidence indicates Native Hawaiians lived on or visited the island around AD 1000, but over time the location of Nihoa was mostly forgotten, with only an oral legend preserving its name. Captain James Colnett rediscovered the island in 1788, and Queen Kaʻahumanu visited it in 1822. It was made part of the Kingdom of Hawaii by King Kamehameha IV.
In 1909, Nihoa became part of the Hawaiian Islands Reservation, a federal wildlife refuge established by U.S president Theodore Roosevelt. The Tanager Expedition surveyed the island in 1923, taking a comprehensive biological inventory of its many species. In 1940, it became part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Wildlife Refuge and in 1988, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to its culturally significant archaeological sites. In 2006, it became part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Efforts are underway to ensure that endangered plant species are propagated beyond their limited range and represented in ex situ collections. Persons intending to visit Nihoa for cultural and scientific research purposes require a USFWS-issued special-use permit to land on the island so as to reduce the risk of introducing alien species to Nihoa's already fragile ecosystem.Pacific Insects
Pacific Insects was a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Entomology Department at the Bishop Museum from 1959 to 1982. It was renamed to International Journal of Entomology in 1983 and discontinued in 1985. It was the organ of the "Zoogeography and Evolution of Pacific Insects" program. It should not be confused with Pacific Insects Monograph, nor with the new International Journal of Entomology, published since 2010 by the International Society of Zoological Research.Pacific Insects Monographs
Pacific Insects Monographs was a scientific journal published by the Entomology Department, Bishop Museum, between 1961 and 1986.Samuel Hoyt Elbert
Samuel Hoyt Elbert (8 August 1907 – 14 May 1997) was a linguist who made major contributions to Hawaiian and Polynesian lexicography and ethnography. Born on a farm in Des Moines, Iowa, to Hugh and Ethelind Elbert, Sam grew up riding horses, one of his favorite pastimes well into retirement. After graduating from Grinnell College with an A.B. in 1928, he earned a certificate in French at the University of Toulouse and traveled in Europe before returning to New York City, where he waited tables, clerked for a newspaper, reviewed books, and studied journalism at Columbia University. Wanderlust took him to French Polynesia, first to Tahiti and then to the Marquesas, where he quickly became proficient in Marquesan.
In 1936, he went to work for the United States Geological Survey in Hawaiʻi. There he met researchers on Pacific languages and cultures at the Bishop Museum, chief among them Mary Kawena Pukui, from whom he learned Hawaiian and with whom he worked closely over a span of forty years. When war broke out in the Pacific, the U.S. Navy employed him as an intelligence officer studying the languages of strategically important islands. He was posted to Samoa in 1943, then to Micronesia, where he collected and published wordlists for several island languages.
After the war, encouraged by academics at the Bishop Museum and the University of Hawaiʻi, he studied at Yale and at Indiana University, where he earned a Ph.D. in folklore in 1950, writing his thesis on 'The Chief in Hawaiian Mythology'. He was hired by the University of Hawaiʻi in 1949, and taught classes in Hawaiian language and linguistics until he retired in 1972, introducing new teaching methods and new levels of rigor into Hawaiian language classes, which until then had a reputation for being easy.
In 1957, he began a longtime collaboration with the Danish scholar, Torben Monberg, on the Polynesian outliers of Rennell and Bellona in the Solomon Islands, making four trips to the islands and spending a year in Denmark on a Fulbright scholarship in 1964–64 collaborating with Monberg on a monograph on the oral traditions of Rennell and Bellona. In 1988, he published a grammar of the language.
In 1972, he published a dictionary of the Puluwatese language followed by a grammar book of the language in 1974.Tanager Expedition
The Tanager Expedition was a series of five biological surveys of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands conducted in partnership between the Bureau of Biological Survey and the Bishop Museum, with the assistance of the U.S. Navy. Four expeditions occurred from April to August 1923, and a fifth in July 1924. Led by Lieutenant Commander Samuel Wilder King on the minesweeper USS Tanager (AM-5), and Alexander Wetmore directing the team of scientists, the expedition studied the plant animal life, and geology of the central Pacific islands. Noted members of the team include archaeologist Kenneth Emory and herpetologist Chapman Grant.
The expedition began with the goal of exterminating domestic rabbits that had been introduced to Laysan island by the guano industry in 1902. Since that time, the rabbits had devoured Laysan's vegetation and led to the extinction of several endemic species. The rabbits were eventually eliminated on Laysan, and the crew witnessed the extinction of the Laysan honeycreeper (ʻapapane). Throughout the expedition, new species were discovered and named, and unique specimens were captured and returned to laboratories for further study. Over 100 archaeological sites were found, including ancient religious sites and prehistoric settlements on Nihoa and Necker Island.Te Rangi Hīroa
Sir Peter Henry Buck (ca. October 1877 – 1 December 1951), also known as Te Rangi Hīroa or Te Rangihīroa, was a New Zealand doctor, military leader, health administrator, politician, anthropologist and museum director. He was a prominent member of Ngāti Mutunga, his mother's Māori iwi.
Art of Hawai‘i
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