Ke Kāpili Manu Kahiko: The Old Hawaiian Bird Hunters

June 19, 2018 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Lyman Museum
276 Haili St
Hilo, HI 96720
Noah and 'alawi

ʻalawī AKA Hawaiʻi Creeper (Loxops mana) and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Ranger AKA Noah Gomes (Photo credit: Noah Gomes)


Matinée presentation:

This past March we were able to offer this wonderful program only on a Monday evening … to a packed house on a very rainy night!  But thanks to the generosity of Kamehameha Schools, Noah Gomes is returning twice in June (including for a matinée) to reprise his presentation on a topic that is clearly of great interest to our community.  Why did Native Hawaiians hunt birds in the remote wilderness of the islands’ interiors?  In what ways did the Hawaiians of old interact with our native birds?  Once-abundant native avian resources were exploited by Hawaiians for multiple purposes prior to contact with Captain Cook in 1778 and during the period of the Hawaiian kingdom in the 1800s.  The most famous of these uses was the spectacular and regal featherwork worn by the ali‘i, but birds were also an important source of meat for Hawaiians. 

Noah Gomes, former ranger for the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and currently with Kamehameha Schools, has conducted extensive research into traditional Hawaiian bird catching using a variety of sources, including testimonies dating to the mid 1800s.  Methods for hunting and capture varied from hunter to hunter; in different districts, on different islands, in different seasons, in different hours of the day; and according to the species of bird and the purposes they ultimately would serve.  On the evening of June 18 and afternoon of June 19, Noah shares what he has learned about this complex of cultural techniques, uses, and knowledge—a definitive and compelling example of traditional Hawaiian relationships with the ‘āina.

Admission to these wonderful programs is free to Museum members, and $3.00 for nonmembers.  Please support the Museum by becoming a member, and enjoy all Saigo Series programs, all year round, at no charge!  Seating is limited; first come, first seated.  ON MONDAY EVENINGS ONLY, additional parking is available next door at Hilo Union School, Kapiolani St. entrance; park, then walk through our green gate in the rock wall

On Monday evenings, doors open at 6:30PM.  E komo mai!