Traditions of the Pacific

KALIHI (KHNL) - Bishop Museum¹s Traditions of the Pacific educational program will present a lecture and field trip on Polynesian voyaging and canoe building in April. TRADITIONS OF THE PACIFIC: NAVIGATING INTO POLYNESIA¹S PAST is a 2 Day Program.

Day One Presentation: "Ben Finney: Navigating Into Polynesia¹s Past." Nautical anthropologist and Polynesian Voyaging Society founder, Ben Finney, will present an illustrated lecture on the rebirth of Polynesian voyaging.

Thursday, April 12, 2007; 6 to 8 p.m.; Atherton Halau, Bishop Museum

$5 General Admission; Free for Bishop Museum Members.

A growing movement has sought to reconstruct and sail ancient deep-sea canoes in order to explore how early voyagers discovered and settled Polynesia‹as well as to empower their descendents from Hawaii, Aotearoa, Rarotonga, Tahiti, Nukuhiva and other islands to reclaim their seafaring heritage.

Ben Finney will also describe and discuss parallel projects elsewhere in the Pacific, including on Taumako, a tiny Polynesian outlier in the Western Pacific. There Koloso Kaveia, the 96-year-old ariki (chief) of the island, has founded a school of navigation to teach the old Polynesian methods, including orientation by wind compass, which have died out among the main Polynesian islands. Finney is the author of numerous books, including Sailing in the Wake of Ancestors‹Reviving Polynesian Voyaging, and Voyages of Rediscovery: A Cultural Odyssey.

Day Two Field Trip: "Uncle Bobby Puakea: Hawaiian Canoe Building"

Saturday, April 14; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Heeia State Park (Canoe Hale)

$10 General Admission; $5 Bishop Museum Members

Noted Hawaiian canoe maker and repairer, Uncle Bobby Puakea, will share his manao about his work with wooden and fiberglass Hawaiian canoes. Uncle Bobby is the founder of the Puakea Foundation, which was created in 2003 to perpetuate the histories, cultures, and traditional and contemporary folk arts of canoe building of Pacific Islanders.

Seating for both programs is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information or to reserve/purchase seats in advance, call (808) 848-4172; or email

These presentations are offered in the 2007 line-up of the Traditions of the Pacific educational series sponsored by the Bishop Museum Association Council. Traditions of the Pacific is an ongoing program that highlights the cultural heritage and natural science of Hawaii, Asia, and the Pacific through stories, fieldtrips, lectures, and workshops. The popular program began in 1991 and will continue through 2007. The program is free to Bishop Museum members.

For more information about Traditions of the Pacific, call (808) 847-3511 or visit