Visiting Bishop Museum 

Bishop Museum is an artifact in  itself. Built in 1898, you step back in time when you enter into the main hall. 

The stair case you see here is carved from Koa. Elsewhere it is known as acacia. The Koa was cut down at the property of Princess Pauahi’s estate on the big island of Hawaii. 

The Koa was then sent to Minnesota where it was milled and sent back to Oahu where it was put into the museum. 

            A close up of the finniel carving

Charles Bishop, Pauahi’s husband,chose Minnesota because he felt that the Sweeds who lived in Stillwater Minnesota were the best carpenters. 

It was at the bottom of this stair case that a student taking a private evening tour with her class told me about her experience. 

As the guard turned out the lights they stood there and watched as a lightly scented light assend to the second floor and checked out each exhibit case and then ascended up to the third floor and do the same. It then descended to the first floor and was gone. 

Yes there are many types of artifacts and visitors to the Bishop. You never walk away disappointed. 

Out of the Mouth of Babes

I must be getting very old. Not because I just had a birthday. Yes, there is no rest for the wicked as I continually have birthdays. I’m getting old because I am actually beginning to enjoy giving tours to the little kids. They have warn me down. They have won me over and I actually prefer them now to giving the adult tours. It must have been that group hug that I got from all of the kids in  a past tour. I actually felt energized after that.

I’ve come a long way since the time when I was giving a tour to pre-schoolers. I was talking about the Lei made of human hair and a whale’s tooth only to look down and see all of the kids were watching their friends two floors below and not a one was listening to me. (See photo below)

P1000025  You have to be quite tricky and interesting to compete with Kamohoalii, the shark god who accompanied Pele from Tahiti to Hawaii.

  I have found that it is much more of a challenge and takes quite a bit of studying to find information that will keep their attention. Last week I did a tour for a Hawaiian Immersion school. Normally they are done by Hawaiian speaking guides but scheduling did not allow for that.

Not having enough time that week to learn Hawaiian I hoped that they would forgive me when I told them that my grandson also went to a Hawaiian Immersion School here on Oahu. They were visiting from the outer islands. The teacher said with a big smile, maikaʻi (good, great, fine, etc.) So I felt I was on firmer ground.

DSCN1415Kahili just to the left of the feathered cape

Going into our Kahili room where we have the portraits of the Alii from King Kamehameha to the last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, the children started calling out the names of each alii and their accomplishments. I was left with my mouth open. What were they saying? Did I dare try to add to it? They were giving me the tour.

Turning to the teacher I asked, do you want me to explain about the Kahili? He smiled and said they already knew all that. I was so disappointed as they already knew all about the little prince, Albert Edward, who was my favorite to talk about, I couldn’t even tell them how the Kahili were put together. What a disappointing tour guide I was turning out to be. I grasped at one last tidbit of trivia.

“Do they know about his Kahili?” I asked hopefully. No they donʻt. Happily I took them over to the feather standard shaped like a flower bud and went on to explain how  Prince Albert’s mother, Queen Emma,  had commissioned it to signify the child died like a flower that never had a chance to bloom.

As we left the room I wondered how many more rabbits could I pull out of my hat. When we were almost done with the tour and after not being able to really tell them anything new the last place I took them to was the replica that we have of the first heiau ever built in Hawaii on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is called Wahaʻula.

The first Heiau built in Hawaii in the 13 century in Puna Hawaii

The first Heiau built in Hawaii in the 13 century in Puna Hawaii, Wahaʻula

The kids gathered around the  Heiau and I started to talk when all of a sudden the teacher speaking in Hawaiian talked to the kids for well over a minute. I asked him, fully expecting it, if he had just told them about Wahaʻula. To my surprise he said “I told them to pay attention to what you were saying.” I breathed a sigh and went on.

I was proud of the kids even though they didnʻt need me along. They were well versed in their culture. They knew their roots. Like Charles Bishop had intended these children were coming to the museum with a full knowledge of their ancestors and seeing first hand what their kupuna  (elders) had accomplished.

Maikaʻi

 

 

Let the season begin, Hula, Christmas Shoppers and Pearlridge Hawaii

Pearlridge Shopping Center is gearing up for shoppers

I’m no fool. I don’t go near shopping centers during the holiday season. I get my shopping done early or on-line. But this year I had to do some unexpected purchasing and so headed into the fray. “Just take it minute by minute” I told myself as I drove into Pearlridge parking lot.

“You always find a space” I repeated as I went up the down staircase, totally mixed up as to what way to go. But I did find a space as a man signaled to me that he was pulling out and for me to wait. After getting out of the car I headed toward the center, through the maze of drivers still going in circles.

“I’m crazy” I thought as I headed down the escalator.  “I should be at home with the dogs and a good book.” But I took a deep breath and just as I got to the bottom of the second floor I forgot all about the crowds, parking, my dogs and books as I took in all of the action going on.

Only in Hawaii of course. I doubt you would see this anywhere else during this manic shopping season. Quickly I pulled out my handy, dandy camera and started taking photos to share. I’ve been so busy this past two months I’ve neglected my blog for which I’m sorry. But I knew everyone would enjoy seeing these.

Waiting her turn to entertain the crowds. Calm and composed.

The colors are rich and the children are adorable

Taking photos was very difficult as kids were moving every which way. They were practicing their hula and so bodies were swaying and of course I could not get my camera to work properly. At least that is my excuse. It sounds better than the truth which is I don’t know how to adjust it.

This young girl was practicing her Tahitian as can be seen by the blurring

  Some were still adjusting their outfits

Calm, a real professional

Traditional Hula and updated Christmas trees

After my photo session I felt elated. I was energized. Heading into the crowd with a smile on my face  I thought, boy it’s nice to live in Hawaii. Let the season begin.

La Mariana A Time Capsul of Old Waikiki

Just for the fun of it

 La Mariana Restaurant and Bar is a step back in time. So if you would like to shave a few years off your age and go back to the 40’s and 50’s here is the place to do it.

I’m a creature of my environment. I love British Television because I like the cinematography that just grabs me by the collar and puts me right into the scenery.

I like to be surrounded by all of my things so that I can look at them and think about all the good things in my life.

Most of all I like to envelop myself in reds, peach and orange colors. So going to this restaurant and bar just makes me happy.

This is the La Marianna. If you look closely (double-click on the photo to enlarge it)at the lights just above the patrons head you will see that they are actually blow fish that have been made into lanterns.

The restaurant, for those who live here, is down Sand Island road and off to the right. You have to look carefully as the sign sits on a fence and is not that big.

As you sit and have dinner you are entertained by a nice soft back ground of piano music. It doesn’t sound so loud that you can’t have a conversation but wafts pleasantly throughout the room.

Like I said the atmosphere is what I’m here for and the fact that all of the artifacts that you see here were collected from famous places that closed here on the islands throughout the years. This is the last of old Hawaii and truly is a destination not to be missed. The food is so so but is made better just by being in the middle of all this Hawaiian history.

A close up of a shell lantern and you can see the blow fish light in the background.

If you happen to sit by certain open windows this would be your view at night. But watch it if you sit at the bar a little to long. It’s just as hard to drink and swim as it is to drink and drive.

If your visiting the island and would like to know how to get there here is the map http://bit.ly/99Of3k

Help Bishop Museum

Please click on this site to help Bishop Museum to win. http://www.hamptonlandmarks.com/VoteLandMarkResults.aspx?statename=Hawaii&state=70 I am a docent at this museum and it would be wonderful if they could win this contest. There is so much that is needed to be done and it takes a lot of money.

The museum has restored the Hawaiian Hall with donations as they are a non-profit. But more then that they brought the hall back to the Hawaiian people. All three floors from Kai Akea (the expanse of the Ocean) on the first floor to the second floor Wao Kanaka (The realm of the Hawaiian ) to the third floor which is Wao Lani (the heavenly realm) which displays all of the feather cloaks, artifacts and documents of the overthrow of the monarchy.

It will cost you nothing to take the time to go to this site and help the museum to win. There is so much more that needs to be restored and every bit helps.

Click on photo for larger view