Upcoming Exhibit Immerses Visitors in the Art, Science and Culture of Traditional Voyaging

A Bishop Museum News Release…

In June 2017, the double-hulled voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa completed a three-year circumnavigation of the Earth, charting her course around the globe by observation of the wind, waves, sun and stars. The navigators aboard were skilled in Polynesian non-instrument wayfinding—an ancient skill that was nearly lost until the practice was reawakened, reactivated, and reenvisioned by Hawaiian and Oceanic voyagers over the past five decades. To explore the art and science of traditional navigation and the extraordinary story behind its resurgence, preparations are now underway to unveil Holo Moana: Generations of Voyaging, a collaborative exhibit between the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) that will be on display in the J. M. Long Gallery at Bishop Museum from Nov. 4, 2017–June 24, 2018.

As guests enter the exhibit, immersive technology will bring wayfinding to life for visitors of all ages. Guests will feel the various winds that propel voyaging canoes and learn their Hawaiian names in a simulator, or swipe through a touch-screen map detailing the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage of Hōkūleʻa. Each tap will reveal insights from specific legs of the trip, as well as profiles of the crew on board. The Story Dome, a mini-planetarium that uses full-dome projection, will cast celestial elements overhead while Nainoa Thompson narrates. Two stories will feature first-hand accounts of pivotal moments that led up to Hōkūleʻa’s first voyage to Tahiti as well as the story of how in the 1990s Hawai‘i astronaut Lacy Veach convinced Thompson that Hōkūleʻa should travel around the world to raise awareness about mālama (caring) for the honua (world). Thompson, president of PVS, is responsible for pioneering the method of wayfinding in use among today’s navigators.

“The Bishop Museum has been a key partner to PVS for more than 40 years, helping us to fulfill our mission to restore and perpetuate traditional voyaging in Hawaiʻi and throughout the Pacific,” said Thompson. “We are grateful that the museum’s support continues with the Holo Moana exhibit, which will showcase not only the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, but also the voyaging legacy of our Polynesian ancestors.”

Aside from the latest technology, priceless objects from PVS and Bishop Museum’s collections will be on display. The center of the space will be dominated by “manu”— the ends of the hull—from the original Hōkūleʻa voyaging canoe, and the Wall of Makana will showcase unique items from all over the world given as gifts to the crew as they sailed the globe. Many of these cultural objects have never been publicly displayed. From the Museum’s collections, visitors will view the ancient Calabash of Winds, or “Ipu Makani o Laʻamaomao.” According to Hawaiian cultural stories, the container is the sacred home of Laʻamaomao, a goddess of winds. It was obtained by King Kalākaua in 1883 and will be on display at Bishop Museum for this special exhibit, among many other cultural objects that tie into the voyaging legacy of Polynesia.

“Traditional Polynesian voyaging is an indispensable aspect of what makes the history and culture of the Pacific so extraordinary,” said Linda Lee Kuuleilani (Cissy) Farm, interim president and CEO of Bishop Museum. “PVS has taken this treasured heritage to the world stage, and we are thrilled to partner with them in this exhibit that explores and celebrates voyaging.”

Holo Moana: Generations of Voyaging was developed in partnership with PVS. The exhibit is made possible through generous support from the Joseph and Vera Long Foundation and Aqua-Aston Hospitality.

Bishop Museum Admission, Parking & Hours

General Admission                 Hawai‘i Residents, Hawai‘i College Students and Military with ID

Adults: $22.95                        Adults: $14.95

Seniors (65+): $19.95             Seniors (65+): $12.95

Juniors (4–17): $14.95            Juniors (4–17): $10.95

Child (3 and under): Free        Child (3 and under): Free

Children age 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.


Planetarium shows are an additional $2.95 per person per daytime show; free for members with ID.


$5 per car per visit; free for members with sticker.



Open every day from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

Bishop Museum Café by Highway Inn offers a limited menu of Hawaiian plates, poke bowls, sandwiches and snacks from 10:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. daily. Museum members receive a 10 percent discount with their membership card.

About Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum:

Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum’s mission is to inspire our community and visitors through the exploration and celebration of the extraordinary history, culture, and environment of Hawai‘i and the Pacific. The Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in memory of his wife Bernice Pauahi Bishop, a royal descendant of King Kamehameha I. Today, the Museum thrives as an educational center for the community and is widely regarded as the world’s premier institution for Hawaiian and Pacific content. Its vast collections of more than 25 million objects represent nine disciplines and include more than 22 million biological specimens, 77,000 cultural objects, 115,000 historical publications, one million photographs, films, works of art, audio recordings and manuscripts. These collections tell the stories of the culture and biodiversity of Hawai‘i and the Pacific as well as the proud legacy of scholarly research spanning more than 125 years. Bishop Museum proudly serves more than 200,000 visitors each year, including 20,000 children on school visits. To learn more about the Museum’s research, collections, exhibits, and programs, visit www.BishopMuseum.org, follow @BishopMuseum on Twitter and Instagram, become a fan of Bishop Museum on Facebook, visit Bishop Museum’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/BishopMuseum, or call (808) 847-3511. Bishop Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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