Patrick Vinton Kirch

Patrick Vinton Kirch is an American archaeologist and Professor Emeritus[1] of Integrative Biology[2] and the Class of 1954 Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.[1] He also serves as Curator of Oceanic Archaeology in the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, and was director of that museum from 1999 to 2002.

Early life

Kirch was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and was raised in Manoa valley from 1950s to 1960s. At the age of 13, he became an intern to Yoshio Kondo, a Bishop Museum malacologist. While there, he was studying Linnaean taxonomy and helped curate his mentor's collection of Polynesian snail shells. At the time, despite his strong interest in snails, he already had a passion for archaeology. Seeing it, Kondo suggested him to work with Kenneth Emory, a renowned Polynesian archaeologist. Unfortunately, Emory refused on working with Kirch, so Kondo took him under his wing so that Kirch could spend the whole summer conducting archaeological digs of his own.[3]

A year later, securing the permission of a landowner and some help from his father, Kirch had dug out a three-by-three-foot test pit at Hālawa on Molokai. In the midden of the pit, he found bone and shell fragments, which he carefully assembled, counted and write up results on. The results made Emory furious, but Kondo insisted that Kirch did everything right and therefore deserves to go with him to the South Point's excavation site.[3]


After graduating from the Punahou School, he attended University of Pennsylvania and Yale University from which he obtained Ph.D. in 1975. From 1975 to 1984 Kirch served on the staff of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu. Due to the research decline in mid-1980s, Kirch had relocated to Seattle, Washington in 1984 where he was a director of the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Washington and then became its Associate Professor. In 1989, he moved to California where he took a position at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Anthropology.[3] He later took a joint appointment in the Department of Integrative Biology.

In 1997, he met with the Reverend Kawika Ka‘alakea of Hawaiian Congregational Church who blessed him on the way to study Kahikinui tribe on Maui, near Haleakalā volcano.[3]

Vinton Kirch had retired from faculty in July 2014, becoming Chancellor's Professor Emeritus and Class of 1954 Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Integrative Biology.[1]

Awards and honors

He has published widely: many articles and nine books. He is known for his belief that practitioners of archaeology, historical linguistics, human genetic studies, ethnology, and archival historical research can work together to give a fuller picture of the past than any discipline alone could do. In 1997 Kirch was awarded the John J. Carty Award from the National Academy of Sciences[4] and in 2011 became recipient of the Herbert E. Gregory Medal for Distinguished Service to Pacific Science from the Pacific Science Association.[5] He is also a Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of French Polynesia (2016).[6]

Kirch's research was recognized by the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

From 1997 to 1998, Krich was a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences[7] and in 2010, Kirch was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.[8]


  • 1982 – Kirch, Patrick Vinton; Yen, D.E. Tikopia; The Prehistory and Ecology of a Polynesian Outlier. Honolulu, Hawaii: Bishop Museum Press. ISBN 9780910240307.
  • 2002 – On the Road of the Winds: An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands Before European Contact, University of California Press, 446 pages. ISBN 0-520-23461-8, ISBN 978-0-520-23461-1
  • 2012 – In A Shark Going Inland Is My Chief: The Island Civilization of Ancient Hawai‘i[3]
  • 2014 – Kua‘āina Kahiko: Life and Land in Ancient Kahikinui, Maui[3]
  • 2015 – Unearthing the Polynesian Past: Explorations and Adventures of an Island Archaeologist[3]


  1. ^ a b c Patrick V. Kirch University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  2. ^ Patrick Kirch University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g David Thompson (Spring 2017). "Unearthing Time". Hana Hou! Magazine. No. 20.2.
  4. ^ "John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  5. ^ Kathleen Maclay (June 28, 2011). "Patrick Kirch awarded Gregory Medal for Pacific research". University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  6. ^ "Patrick Kirch awarded Honorary Doctorate by the Universite de Polynesie Francaise". University of French Polynesia. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  7. ^ "Patrick V. Kirch". Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  8. ^ "Patrick Kirch". Australian Academy of the Humanities. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
Ancient Hawaiian population

The exact population of the Hawaiian Islands at the time of Captain James Cook's arrival is not known. What is known is that the first voyaging canoes that landed on Hawaiian shores during the discovery and settlement of Hawaii cannot have carried more than a hundred people, and perhaps even fewer. For the purposes of this article, "ancient" Hawaii is defined as the period beginning with the first arrival of human settlers, around AD 1100, and ending with their initial contact with the first Western visitors.

Brick Palace

The Brick Palace was the first western-style structure built in the Hawaiian Islands for Kamehameha the Great to serve as the first Royal Palace. Lahaina became the seat of government for the Hawaiian Kingdom until 1845. The king commissioned the structure to be built at Keawa'iki point in Lahaina, Maui. Two foreign, ex-convicts from Australia's Botany Bay penal colony built the home. It was begun in 1798 and was completed after 4 years in 1802. The house was intended for Kamehameha's favorite and most powerful wife, Kaahumanu, but she refused to live in the structure and resided instead in a traditional Hawaiian-styled home only feet away.Kamehameha used the building as part of his encampment in 1802, with over 1000 people in his entourage. The encampment area surrounding the building became a neighborhood known for the chiefly line associated with Kamehameha. Food was grown for the royal family and the area called the "Royal Taro Patch" was connected with this structure. After the unsuccessful war on Kauai, Kamehameha moved his court to Honolulu.

Discovery and settlement of Hawaii

There is no definitive date for the Polynesian discovery of Hawaii. However, high-precision radiocarbon dating in Hawaii using chonometric hygiene analysis, and taxonomic identification selection of samples, puts the initial first settlement of the Hawaiian Islands sometime between 1219 and 1266 C.E., originating from earlier settlements first established in the Society Islands around 1025 to 1120 C.E., and in the Marquesan Islands sometime between 1100 and 1200 C.E.

Early history of Tonga

The early history of Tonga covers the islands' settlement and the early Lapita culture through to the rise of the Tuʻi Tonga Empire.

What is known about Tonga before European contact comes from myths, stories, songs, poems, (as there was no writing system) as well as from archaeological excavations. Many ancient sites, kitchens and refuse heaps, have been found in Tongatapu and Haʻapai, and a few in Vavaʻu and the Niuas that provide insights into old Tongan settlement patterns, diet, economy, and culture.

Ghosts in Polynesian culture

There was widespread belief in ghosts in Polynesian culture, some of which persists today.

After death, a person's ghost would normally travel to the sky world or the underworld, but some could stay on earth. In many Polynesian legends, ghosts were often involved in the affairs of the living. Ghosts might also cause sickness or even invade the body of ordinary people, to be driven out through strong medicines.

Hale o Keawe

Hale o Keawe was an ancient Hawaiian heiau originally built in approximately 1650 AD as the burial site for the ruling monarch (aliʻi nui) of the Island of Hawaii named Keaweʻīkekahialiʻiokamoku. The complex may have been established as early as 1475 under the aliʻi nui ʻEhu-kai-malino. Radio carbon dating has not been done extensively in the area. Testing of the nearby 'Āle'ale'a heiau site gave deceptive results. Oral traditions compiled by Dorothy Barrère are still considered the best for chronological order of the surrounding complex.The heiau contained 23 remains including that of Keaweʻīkekahialiʻiokamoku. It was situated near a great ancient wall near the royal residence to the east side of the wall. Further south were further aliʻi homes were built. Excavations of the area indicate a large crafting community to support the royal residence. The heiau would lay untouched after the banning of the Hawaiian religion while all other such temples were destroyed until Kaahumanu had the building dismantled and all the remains moved to the royal mausoleum in Honolulu.Today the reconstructed temple is part of the Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park.

Jack Golson

Jack Golson (born 1926, England) is an archaeologist who has done extensive field work in Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia.

Golson studied history and archaeology at Cambridge University. In 1954, he lectured at the archaeology department of Auckland University in New Zealand where he began studies on pre-history in the Pacific Islands. Golson also worked towards improving standards and methods of archaeology in New Zealand and organised the New Zealand Archaeological Association.In 1957, he carried out the first systematic survey of archaeological remains on Savai'i island in Samoa. In 1961, he was appointed Fellow in Prehistory at the Australian National University and carried out research in Australia and Papua New Guinea. He was the president of the World Archaeological Congress (1990–1994).In 1991, Golson retired after 30 years at the Australian National University. He became a visiting Fellow there while focusing his work on Papua New Guinea.


Kalanikaumakaowākea (or Kalanikaumaka-o-Wākea) was an Aliʻi nui of the island of Maui in ancient Hawaii. He was named after the god called Wākea, who is the Sky father in Hawaiian religion and mythology.


Kawaokaohele (Hawaiian for "our days of poverty") was a High Chief who ruled the island of Maui in ancient Hawaii.


Keaunui (Hawaiian for "Keau the Great") was a High Chief of ʻEwa, Waiʻanae and Waialua in ancient Hawaii. He was a member of the Nanaulu line and is also known as Keaunui-a-Maweke.His mother was High Chiefess Naiolaukea, also known as Naiolakea. (In ancient Hawaii, it was known for nobles to have many names.)

His father was famous High Chief and wizard called Maweke, an Aliʻi of "the blue blood".He had brothers named Mulielealiʻi and Kalehenui.Keaunui married woman named Wehelani (Hawaiian: lani = "sky"), and their children were:

High Chief Laakona of ʻEwa

High Chiefess and "witch" Nuakea of Molokai

High Chief and "wizard" MoʻiKeaunui had a granddaughter, Chiefess Kapauanuakea of Molokai.

Keaunui ordered the cutting of one navigable channel.


Keaweʻōpala is the first born son of Alapainui (the usurping Aliʻi nui of Hawaii Island) and his wife Keaka, who cared for Kamehameha the Great in his youth along with her sister Hākau. He would inherit his father's position after being named heir by Alapainui shortly before his death.His was a short rule of just 1 year beginning around 1754. He was overthrown by Kalaniʻōpuʻu.Keaweʻopala would father a child with Moana Wahine, named Kalaimanokahoʻowaha also known as Kanaʻina, who would be taken into the new king's court to serve as a royal attendant as a new aliʻi line of secondary chiefs serving the supreme ruler of the island and the kingdom. Kanaʻina would cohabitate with his half sister from his mother Moana Wahine, Hākau. Her father was Heulu. The couple would have a child named Hao, the grandson of Keaweʻopala. Hao's daughter was Luahine. Luahine's daughter was Kōnia, who was the mother of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the three times great granddaughter of Keaweʻopala.With Namoe he had a son Kanekoa. With Keoua he had a daughter Peleuli. With Kaukuhakuonana he had two sons Kanehiwa and Kuapuu. Kanehiwa married a cousin named Kaulunae and were the parents of Lipoa and Julia Moemalie. Kanekoa's grandson was Joseph Heleluhe, who was the private secretary of Queen Liliuokalani.


Kirch may refer to:

BusinessKirch Group, a former German media conglomeratePeopleDarrell Kirch, AAMC president

Gottfried Kirch (1639 – 1710), German astronomer

Maria Margarethe Kirch (née Winckelmann) (1670 – 1720), German astronomer and spouse of Gottfried Kirch

Leo Kirch (1926-2011), German media entrepreneur

Oliver Kirch (born 1982), German footballer

Patrick Vinton Kirch, American archaeologistPlacesKirch (crater), a lunar impact crater

Kirch, Iran, a village in Isfahan Province

Kirch Jesar, a municipality in the district of Ludwigslust in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Kirch Mulsow, a municipality in the district of Bad Doberan in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany


According to the Hawaiian chants, Chief Maweke (also spelled Māweke in Hawaiian; Hawaiian pronunciation: MAH-WEH-KEH) was a chief of the highest known rank who lived in the 11th century. He is described in the legends as a wizard (or priest, kahuna in Hawaiian language) and an Aliʻi (a noble) of "the blue blood" (a Hawaiian nobleman of the highest rank). He was an ancestor of the royalty of the island of Oahu.He was not of Hawaiian origin, but came to Hawaii from Tahiti and was famous for his knowledge of black magic. His famous ancestor was Nanaulu.His parents are named in the chants as Kekupahaikala (father) and Maihikea (mother).When he arrived to Oahu, Maweke erected a temple to the god called Kanaloa.

Maweke married woman named Naiolaukea (Naiolakea). They had children:




Keaunui, father of the High Chiefess Nuakea of Molokai



Ofu and Olosega are parts of a volcanic doublet in the Manu‘a Group of the Samoan Islands—part of American Samoa. The twin islands, formed from shield volcanoes, have a combined length of 6 km and an area of 12 square kilometers (5 square miles); their population is about 500 people. They are geographic volcanic remnants separated by the narrow 137-meter-wide (449-foot) Āsaga Strait, a natural bridge of shallow coral reef. Before 1970, one had to wade between the two islands at low tide; now a single-lane road bridge over the strait connects villages on Ofu island with those on Olosega.

The highest peak on Ofu is Mount Tumutumu (491 m (1,611 ft), also referred to as Tumu) and the highest elevation on Olosega is Mount Piumafua (629 m (2,064 ft)). The most recent volcanic eruption took place in 1866, 3 km (1.9 mi) south east of Olosega.Archaeology field work carried out in the 1980s yielded pre-historic evidence including ceramics, adzes, shell and bone which have been significant in furthering understanding of the ancient history of the Samoa Islands and Polynesia. This included samples of red-slipped plainware ceramics that appeared to be in the tradition of the Lapita culture. The work, carried out by a team that included Pacific archaeology specialist Patrick Vinton Kirch, focused on a site called To'aga (site AS-13-1), a 2 km (1.2 mi) coastal stretch on the south coast of Ofu. The results showed continuous human habitation of about 3,000 years.

Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology

The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology (formerly the Lowie Museum of Anthropology) is an anthropology museum located in Berkeley, California on the University of California, Berkeley campus.


Piʻilani ("ascent to heaven") (born ca. 1577) ruled as the 15th Mōʻī of the island of Maui in the later part of the 16th century. At the time Maui was an independent kingdom within the islands of Hawaii.

He was the first Alii to unite the island under a single line. His rule was peaceful for most of his reign. His father was Kawaokaohele and his mother was Kepalaoa. Pilʻilani and his offspring are important in legends of Maui, in the same way that Liloa and his son ʻUmi-a-Liloa in the legends of the island of Hawaii. The two family lines of Piʻilani and Liloa were closely associated although from separate islands. ʻUmi was a supporter of Kiha-a-Piilani, Piʻilani's son, when he went to war. The lineage continued in west Hawaii and east Maui in lesser lines and in the lines of Moana Kane from Liloa and Piʻilaniwahine from Piʻilani in the couple's marriage and offspring.Piʻilani's father and grandfathers, came from western Maui. Under Piʻilani for the first time this family controlled the eastern side as well. Piʻilani began building a roadway to encircle the entire island, the first such road in the islands. It was wide enough for eight men to walk beside each other. It was completed by his son. Some sections of Piʻilani Highway follow the old path. In places, the old stones are still visible. After Piʻilani's death the line of succession became a struggle similar to that of ʻUmi and Hakua of Hawaii.

Taboo (book)

Taboo is a monograph based on a series of lectures by Franz Steiner, now considered to be a classic in the field of social anthropology. The volume was published posthumously, edited by Steiner's student Laura Bohannan, and the first edition, brought out in 1956, contained a preface by his mentor E. E. Evans-Pritchard. The lectures analyze one of the great problematic terms of modern ethnography, that of taboo, derived from the Polynesian word tapu, adopted by Western scholars to refer to a generic set of ritual inhibitions governing what was thought to be primitive society or the ‘savage mind’.

Tuʻi Tonga Empire

The Tuʻi Tonga Empire, or Tongan Empire, are descriptions sometimes given to Tongan expansionism and projected hegemony in Oceania which began around 950 CE, reaching its peak during the period 1200–1500.

It was centred in Tonga on the island of Tongatapu, with its capital at Muʻa. Modern researchers and cultural experts attest to widespread Tongan influence, evidence of transoceanic trade and exchange of material and non-material cultural artefacts.


Vailoa (Vailoa i Palauli) is a village on the island of Savai'i in Samoa. Vailoa is the capital of Palauli district on the south east of the island.Vailoa attained the status of Pule (traditional political authority) sometime in the 19th century. The village is associated with the chiefly title of Lilomaiava. It is referred to as Vailoa i Palauli (Vailoa in Palau district).

Like most villages in Samoa, the local economy is based on subsistence living. The people live off their land from crops grown in plantations behind the village or fishing.


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