Bishop Museum – Honolulu

2023 Vancouver-Hawai’i Cruise

Oct 17, 2023 – Day 1 in Honolulu – Bishop Museum

After having breakfast in the Main Dining Room aboard the ship, I take a taxi to the Bishop Museum. I saw this museum back in the 1980s, so it is time to see this repository of Hawaiian natural and cultural history again. There are some exquisite artifacts and artwork, but it is mostly the same as before.

Pacific Hall features Polynesian culture as it is found across huge regions of the Pacific Ocean. I’m pleased to see the Lapita People are featured as the origins of more recent oceanic people. The Lapitas migrated across the South Pacific from Taiwan and East Asia during the Neolithic era (1600 to 500 BCE). All the resulting Melanesian, Micronesian and Polynesian cultures from this migration are featured in displays in this hall, as well as ocean-going sailing canoes.

Hawaiian Hall is a beautiful 3-level exhibit hall with big models in the centre and display cases on the side walls. See banner image above.

A big Tlingit House Post (totem pole) stands in the foyer between the two main exhibit halls, which I thought was a bit odd until I read the inscription: “This Tlingit House Post is a gift from the Sealaska Corp to the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Hawaiian people to commemorate the strong ties of friendship generated by the Hawai’iloa voyaging canoe and her crew.”

There is also a Picture Gallery between the two main exhibit halls, which features paintings, photos and household artifacts from the Hawaiian royalty. They also have a good collection of stereograms and a couple of working viewers, which brings back memories to me of using a View-Master to look at stereoscopic images of cartoon characters and scenery during my childhood

I take a quick wander through the Science Adventure Center, which is mainly setup for kids with lasers, flashing lights, and interactive displays. There is a cleverly designed Make A Telescope display, which appeals to me as an amateur astronomer. The optics are configurable, so when played with, the effect of moving optic elements or using different ones becomes apparent.

After a couple of hours, I’m ready to return to the ship, so call another taxi. The museum is quite a distance from downtown, costing about US$25 each way. As always, it’s great to return to the ship. I have some lunch and relax for the afternoon.

I go to the 6PM show of Drums of Polynesia: Featuring Kauvaka a performance of a local entertainment troupe that looked promising, however I end up walking out after 10 minutes since the talent is amateurish, and not even close to portraying authentic Polynesian or Hawaiian culture.

I give my two room stewards envelopes with US$ as an early tip this evening, so if they get some time off tomorrow, perhaps they can do some shopping in Honolulu.


Alberta First Nations

July 4, 2018 Wednesday – First Nations in Southern Alberta

Victoria to Calgary road trip 2018

This is the third day of tours after the RASC General Assembly, and this one is a bit more informal. Today we are being driven around in RASC members’ vehicles to two sites where significant events happened involving the First Nations of southern Alberta area. We take tobacco as a gift and to show respect, as we visit these sites today (with prior permission of the Alberta government).

Blackfoot Crossing

JoeTourist: Rural southern Alberta &emdash; Chief Crowfoot's tipi village

Our first stop is to view Crowfoot’s last camp and burial site on Siksika Nation lands. Crowfoot was a Blackfoot Chief who negotiated Treaty 7 with representatives of the British Crown in 1877. Nearby Blackfoot Crossing Historic Park and Museum has lots of interesting artifacts in displays, a cafeteria (not open), informational videos in the theatre, and outside venues including the Chief Crowfoot Tipi Village down by the river.

Majorville Medicine Wheel

It takes us a couple of tries to find this sacred place on a hilltop surrounded by southern Alberta rangeland, but eventually we pick up the directional signs and make our way over remote range roads to the parking area.  We learn that Medicine Wheels are places where First Nations gathered to perform fertility and hunting rituals, honour their dead leaders, and present offerings.

This medicine wheel was constructed about 4,500 years ago, starting with the main rock cairn atop the hill, with rocky spokes and other smaller cairns added later. Today, they are protected archaeological sites, with only a few visitors permitted each year. We were some of the lucky ones to see this medicine wheel. I was so happy to fly my Mavic Pro drone overhead to capture the site in high resolution video and photos from a unique perspective.

Reference: Canada’s Stonehenge by Gordon Freeman

Vulcan and Mossleigh

JoeTourist: Rural southern Alberta &emdash; Old Pioneer Grain Co elevators beside the railway tracks

We make a quick stop in Vulcan so we can take some selfie photos in front of the Enterprise star ship the town has built to attract tourists. We make another quick stop in Mossleigh to see three grain elevators up close – two are relics and one is still functional. Our final stop is to have dinner at our guide’s home before returning to our hotel in Calgary – our last night before leaving tomorrow morning.

Back at Hotel Alma at the University of Calgary, I let the front desk know that I will be recharging my Tesla overnight in the lot across the campus. I want a full charge for my departure from Calgary tomorrow, enroute to Revelstoke.