What Are These Museum Artifacts Or What Are Friends For

Today I met with Evelyn. I’ve never met her before. In person that is. We’ve communicated via blogs. She runs a blog that inculcates many blogs and I’ve sent some of my post to her to put on her site called Carnival of Aloha Since I know how interested she is in Hawaii and the museum I invited her to meet me there today.

Have you ever been around an object, place or person so much that after a while you don’t see it clearly anymore because you’ve almost become jaded?

Being with Evelyn today made me realize just that. We were on the first floor of the museum called Kai Akea or The vast ocean. This realm contains many gods, illustrates some of the creation beliefs and stories of gods like Maui and Pele.

Evelyn is one of these museum goers that takes in everything. And so we explored this first realm quite closely. As we looked at the different artifacts she started asking me questions.

I explained how the hall had been restored to its original condition. The poles you see here were once painted over in white to reflect the much-needed light as there was no electricity for lighting until the 1970’s. The beautifully carved Maile vine that you see here was totally lost in the white paint that once was part of the museum.

As many times as I had been in the museum I never once noticed that each floor had carved moldings at the top of the columns. But once the restoration was done and the hall had been brought back to its original condition I was fascinated at the intricacy of the architecture.

Then she started asking about the Ki’i or the Gods. While I explained the main gods like Pele, Ku and Kaneikokala,  when it came to the other gods like the one above I drew a blank. I could only tell her what I had read about the wavy carvings on the images here that meant that it was some type of water god. At least that is what I had read.

you can see the carved marks above this gods head

But I knew nothing about this god

Or this one. Beautiful work but I only came away feeling overwhelmed again. You get complacent giving your set tours with the same groups of children. It was good for me to be with a friend and a lover of antiquity to remind me of the wonderful exhibits that I’ve overlooked, become complacent about and have just plain ignored.

So I will have to start back into my books, researching my artifacts and visiting the great museum library. Nothing like a friend to help you see how little you know.


10 comments on “What Are These Museum Artifacts Or What Are Friends For

  1. Sartenada says:

    I love those statues – great.


  2. megtraveling says:

    Hi Karen! I really enjoy your blog and I’ve given you the ABC award. Congratulations! Here’s the link: http://megtraveling.com/2012/01/19/abc-award/


  3. Hi Sheila, it was wonderful getting together with her just as it was with you. It is such a pleasure to be able to share the museum with like minded people. Good to hear from you.


  4. ÇAĞATAY says:

    This sculpture is made ​​of wood?

    The natives have made?

    Do you have Kamehame museum?


  5. Evelyn says:

    Karen, Sheila is very right! Of course I did! My goodness, you were a wealth of information. It has been so long since I’ve been there, I was overwhelmed by all of the knowledge to be absorbed. There is so much!

    Pssst… I did get a copy of that book from the gift shop — “Native Land and Foreign Desires.” I’ll keep you posted. 🙂 The girl in the gift shop that spoke with me briefly about it was one of the author’s students. She reassured me that the author is well researched and very knowledgeable. 🙂


  6. Sheila Beal says:

    I’m excited to hear that you and Evelyn got to meet in person!

    Evelyn is a very observant person. I bet she loved touring the museum with you.


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