Mary Kawena Pukui, 1983.

KAWENA

Guardian of the Hawaiian Language

By Helen Altonn, Star-Bulletin Writer

SAMUEL H. Elbert vividly recalls the first time he met Mary Kawena Pukui. “She had a flower in her hair and she just captivated me.”

That was in 1937, on the top floor of the Bishop Museum. Pukui, affectionately called Kawena, had just joined the staff as a translator. She was working with E. S. C. Handy, an ethnologist, on a book entitled “Polynesian Family System at Kaʻu,” the Big Island home of her Hawaiian mother’s family. Continue reading

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Dr. Yosihiko Sinoto and the great canoe, conclusion, 1978.

EXPEDITION CREW—Tim Lui-Kwan holds an unfinished canoe bailer found preserved on Huahine Island in Tahiti. Other early Polynesian artifacts on the table include Tahitian war clubs, called patus, and a tapa beater. From left are Elaine Rogers-Jourdane, Toni Han and archaeologist Yosihiko Sinoto.—Star-Bulletin Photo by Warren R. Roll.

PRESERVED LOG—A mastlike post is recovered from the Huahine pond.—Bishop Museum photo.

CANOE RELIC—Yosihiko Sinoto is shown digging a trench to look for the end of a plank believed to be part of an ancient double-hulled canoe.—Bishop Museum Photo.

Pieces of Ancient Canoe Found

Continued from Page One

…canoe plank, because of the L-shape, so what is it? That was the big question.

“SURPRISINGLY, we found a second piece about one foot below. The two pieces are the same size and the same shape.”

He said the logs that they found were round and well-worked and one was a boom to lash a canoe hull and an outrigger. “The form was very close to the Tahitian sailing canoe,” he noted.

After he returned to the museum, he began searching material on canoes in Oceania and studying canoe models to try and identify the large planks. Continue reading

Dr. Yosihiko Sinoto finds parts of great canoe, 1978.

Most Important Link to East Polynesian History

Parts of Ancient Canoe Found on Society Isle

By Helen Altonn
Star-Bulletin Writer

A Hawaii archaeologist has discovered what he believes are the remnants of an ancient double-hulled canoe such as described in Polynesian legends.

They are two large L-shaped boards, apparently the end splash boards of a double canoe.

“If it is a double canoe, the size is bigger than the Hokule’a,” said Yosihiko Sinoto, chairman of the Bishop Museum anthropology department.

He uncovered the boards and numerous other wooden objects, many associated with canoeing, in a pond on Huahine in the Society Islands.

Kenneth Emory, senior archaeologist as the museum, said the site is the most important found yet in revealing the early history of East Polynesia. “You have a cross-section of life at one moment of time before Hawaii and New Zealand were settled,” he said. Continue reading