Sharks, Dragons and Pigs, Oh My! Pig Hunting in Hawaii

This blog is my view only and not that of Bishop Museum

There were a lot of groups at the museum yesterday. Kids with wide-eyed wonder and lots of questions. We always prepare them before entering the hall that they must use their indoor voices etc. But once they enter the Hall all bets are off as they can’t just look.

That is how I feel each time I go to the museum to do my tours. Only it is not so much looking at all of the artifacts but it’s just the surprises that can be encountered at any point of the day.

While the restoration was going on in the main hall in 2009 there was always exciting events taking place. As we attended classes to prepare for the opening of the hall often we would walk over to it to check on the progress. On one such trip I saw these poor guys struggling with this shark as they tried to figure out how to get him into the door.

Ka-moho-aliʻ the shark god the brother of Pele who accompanied her as she came across the Pacific

Then there was the day we were in a lecture and found out that they had just brought in a Komodo Dragon to be preserved. If we wanted to see it whole we would have to be quick. So off we went to view it up close.

We were  told that this dragon had liveed a long life and was ill and been humanely put down at the zoo. I also learned about how the saliva in the dragons mouth was very poisonous.

This past Friday was uneventful other than the many, many children who were there for tours. An exhibit was being installed and I always enjoy watching that process and viewing the artifacts that will be out for a short time. But my foot was acting up again so I had to cut the day short.

It was a couple of blocks away that I saw something I had not seen in many years in Hawaii.

Pig hunting was a pastime that took place every weekend here in the islands. The hounds were loaded into the truck excitedly barking and tails wagging. Men with large knives and perhaps a rifle to insure that they would be safe would jump into the front of the truck and off they would go.

I only know how the old-time hunters ran down and killed their prey. My brother-in-law had his pack of dogs and his huge knife. He and a few friends would head into the mountains and let the dogs pick up the trail. Once they found the pig they would corner it. Then my brother-in-law would go in with his knife and kill it instantly. The gun? Well he said it was only there in case  one of the hunters or a  dog was being attacked. He absolutely did not want to shoot the pig as he did not want to ruin the meat.

Then he would pack the pig on his shoulders and they would then trek out of the mountains. He once carried out a 350 pound pig  that they had killed. Oh his stories were thrilling.! (I’ve got to find that photo)

So as I pulled up to the stop light just around the corner from the museum I saw this site. And of course I had my trusty camera.  I whipped  it out of my bag and took the photo from my car while we were  stopped at the light.  Just another day in Paradise.

You can just barely see the heads of the dogs under the pig that is now dead and tied down


4 comments on “Sharks, Dragons and Pigs, Oh My! Pig Hunting in Hawaii

  1. spritelife says:

    Giggles! Your memory serves you well, Karen. And, yes, they do still use the knives rather than guns. The dogs keep the beast busy and somewhat at bay until the hunter can, carefully, move in for the kill.

    It’s a passion, like any other. I support them because the pig are not indigenous. If the government would let them hunt without so much interference we wouldn’t have half of the problem that we have now with their destructive digging, etc.

    Hats off to the boys! I love the mountain and they are helping the ecosystem with their favorite past time. See how I justify this? 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, there are the idiots out there that don’t know what they’re doing and annoy people, but the old timers have got it down!


  2. Ed Greer says:

    Very fun and entertaining post. I’m amazed at how they use a knife instead of a gun to kill such an ominous boar – did you see those razor sharp tusks?


    • Ed that would be an adventure in Hawaii that not to many people experience while visiting the islands.

      These pigs are very smart and quite dangerous. Right now they are becoming a really big nuisance. It is amazing that they kill them with knives. The dogs are very important in the kill and that is why they take so many.


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