Island Heritage Gallery







 You may watch a video of our old exhibit by going to this address:

 Lyman Museum’s Top Floor Galleries to Close June 1, 2017

When was the last time you visited the Lyman Museum?  If it’s been a while, you’ll want to be sure to stop by before June 1, when the top floor galleries—Island Heritage Gallery, Korean Grandfather’s House, and the Special Exhibits Gallery—will be closed for the indefinite future.  This is a necessary step in the construction of the Museum’s new Island Heritage Gallery.

The retired exhibit in the Gallery was very popular with visitors but it was more than 40 years old and outdated, relating only a limited part of Hawai‘i’s human experience.  The new Gallery will be the capstone of a 15-year journey to enhance the Museum’s position as a world-class learning facility and treasured resource for future generations.  It will explore a historical timeline of the many peoples, cultures, events, and ideas that have influenced the Hawaiian Islands and produced our complex and still-evolving society.  Students and visitors of all ages will learn about the arc of Hawai‘i’s history—from the first Polynesian settlement, to the influences of the Western world, to the impact of Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, and Korean immigrants who came to work on the plantations, creating a new language (which we still use today), sharing food and customs and music, and helping develop the culture we call “local.”  The Gallery will also highlight the development of Hawai‘i’s educational system, its political development from monarchy to Statehood, and the renaissance of Hawaiian culture from Kalākaua to the present day.  A very special feature will be the Kīpuka, an interactive learning space where students can experience hands-on activities such as Hawaiian kapa and tattoo design, cordage making, mat plaiting, and storytelling through hula, chant, petroglyphs, and oral legends, creating take-home materials using traditional techniques—and more importantly, appreciating the culture behind these arts. 

The Island Heritage Gallery explores the ethnically diverse world of Hawai`i.

Begin with a look at how early Hawaiian people lived, including the tools and implements made from materials they had at hand (no metal!).

The Museum has many examples of the fish nets and hooks they used, as well as slingstones, wood bowls, poi pounders, games, and a wood and cord framework for the typical grass-covered hale they lived in.

See samples of the kapa cloth made from pounded tree bark from which they fashioned their clothing, as well as adornments made from bone, feathers, and other natural materials.

Learn about the Hawaiian ali`i (chiefs) and those who became famous kings and queens.

Further on through the gallery, discover the five major immigrant groups that came to Hawai`i in the late 19th century to work in the newly formed sugar industry, a system of plantations and mills that shaped the character and the land of modern Hawai`i.

The Island Heritage Gallery tells the story of the native Hawaiians and the immigrants who have created the unique society of Hawai`i today.