Events Calendar

Kona Historical Society Presents a New Exhibit, “Pū‘olo: The Gifts We Bring”

Monday, December 10, 2018 to Thursday, June 27, 2019, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am to 2pm at Kona Historical Society

Kona Historical Society Presents a New Exhibit Highlighting Kona’s Cultural Diversity
“Hele Me Ka Pū‘olo: The Gifts We Bring” Will Be Open to the Public Monday, December 10

Kona Historical Society announced today that they will present a new exhibit highlighting cultural contributions from Kona’s many ethnic groups. Supported by the State of Hawaii Grant-in-Aid program “Hele Me Ka Pū‘olo: The Gifts We Bring,” will be open to the public starting Monday, December 10, 2018 at Kona Historical Society’s headquarters in Kealakekua, and will be on display until June 27, 2019.

Through historical photographs and artifacts showcased alongside contemporary artworks from three Kona artists, “Pū‘olo: The Gifts We Bring” will illustrate a deeply significant Hawaiian concept, also shared by many cultures, of the importance of taking a gift when one travels, and being prepared to express one’s respect and appreciation in the form of a pūʿolo, a small package or bundle. Artwork, oral histories, photos and artifacts reflecting Native Hawaiian, Japanese, Portuguese, Filipino, Chinese, and English heritage appear alongside each other to illustrate a tapestry of cultures that create Kona’s unique sense of place.

In addition to photographs and artifacts from Kona Historical Society’s rich archive and collections that will be on display, this exhibit will showcase artwork from three artists deeply rooted in Kona’s districts. From Holualoa, Artists Hiroki Morinoue and his daughter Miho Morinoue will contribute a mixed media piece reflecting their Japanese heritage. Captain Cook Artist Gerald Lucena will present a fiber piece, made with locally sourced materials, gathered from the Kona districts. Artist and Cultural Practitioner Conall Kahaka‘io Ravenscraft from South Kona will be contributing a sculpture carved from native wood that expresses the personal relationship he has with his home. 

“Presenting tangible cultural objects alongside the intangible experiences and mana’o of community members, we can see how the contents of our pūʿolo tell our story,” said Kona Historical Society Curator Mina Elison. “The contents of our pūʿolo also affect our perspective. Through this exhibit, it is my hope that we spark discussion about our values as individuals and as a community and how we choose to share and express our pūʿolo with the world.  Through this lens, we can become more aware of how our actions affect others, our community locally and globally,” Elison said.

A special opening reception for Kona Historical Society members and invited guests only will be held at Kona Historical Society on Wednesday, December 12. To become a member, click here and RSVP at (808)323-3222.  This exhibit is sponsored by Hawaii State Grant in Aid, Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts, County of Hawaii Nonprofit Grant in Aid, Kona Transportation, Hannah Kihalani Springer, and The Aoki Family in Honor of Natsuko and Yasuto Aoki. Kona Historical Society is a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Museum affiliate that has spent the past four decades collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii.