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Bishop Museum

Bishop Museum, situated at Honolulu District, O’ahu, is a remarkable tourist attraction for the cultural and natural history lovers. The great touristy museum was originated in 1889. Today, it is known to be the biggest museum in Hawai’I providing its visitors the world’s greatest assortment of Polynesian artistic relics and ancient natural variety. Apart from the wide-ranging showcasing in Hawaiiana, the overall natural history stuff in the museum goes beyond 24 million.

Out of this big collection, the entomological variety solely characterizes over 13.5 million specimens (crediting the place to become the 3rd largest insect collection in the USA). It is a public museum with lots of specimens worth seeing and capturing in camera.

Charles Reed Bishop (1822 to 1915) was a philanthropist and an entrepreneur. He co-founded the first bank in Hawai’I. He was also the originator of Kamehameha schools. Bishop lost his beloved wife in 1884 and planned to build a museum in her memory. As a result, this museum was a memorial to Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, his wife. She was a product of royal lineage and the last inheritor of the Kamehameha Dynasty, which had the super rights of the Royal Kingdom of Hawai’I from 1810 to 1872. The philanthropist had thought the place to house the valuable heirlooms possessed by him after his royal wife through the royal passing down the system.

William Tufts Brigham was appointed as the first keeper of the museum by Bishop, the later director of the place was Brigham, who remained in service from 1898 to 1918.

The great museum was constructed on the Kamehameha Schools boys’ campus. The schools were made by the donation of this wife, to serve native Hawaiian kids; her last testament and will had thorough details about it. Bishop made Polynesian Hall, and Hawaiian Hall constructed there in 1898. It was his desire to give the building Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style, which was very popular in those days. The architecture of the building got a lot of popularity among newspapers; for example, the famous Pacific Commercial Advertiser published about the two formations as “the noblest buildings of Honolulu”. Nowadays the two halls are found on the National Register of Historic Places.

Later Improvement
Afterward, when Kamehameha schools shifted to the new Kapālama campus in 1940, the museum got the chance to set up at the original campus in the developed state. A significant expansion was the need of Bishop Hall, which was constructed to use by the school when the museum was expanded at the original campus, the hall became a part of the museum. Various other school compositions were leveled, and works were done to develop the museum even more. At the ending years of the twentieth century, the Bishop Museum got the title of “the greatest cultural and natural history institution in Polynesia”.

Castle Memorial Building creation was started in 1988. This part of the museum became a mixed bag of all chief traveling demonstrations in 1990, coming to the museum from institutions in the four corners of the world.

The Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center was initialized in 2005 to advance to the museum regarding science history. The building is intended as a seeking point for kids and has lots of interactive objects related to volcanology, marine science, and other allied sciences.

Library and Archives
Bishop museum has a vast library with one of the hugest amalgam of periodicals, books, newspapers and specific written material in relation to the Pacific and Hawai’i. the archives carry the consequence of broad studies taken place by museum workers in the Pacific Basin, besides photographs, scripts, verbal histories, artwork, maps and business sound recordings.

Lots of Hawai’I sovereigns, like the late wife of Bishop and Queen Lili’uokalani, put down their personal documents at the museum. The manuscripts in the library also have scientific documents, genealogical papers and memorabilia.

There are around 50,000 books in the library, specifically books on the natural and cultural history of the vicinity, covering chief subjects like music, entomology, anthropology, botany and zoology. The library gives additional access to the gathered material of published diaries, memoirs, narratives and other written works unfolding Hawai’I in 18 th and 19 th century.


Jhamandas Watumull Planetarium: it is on the campus of the museum, and is a learning and research point dedicated to the astronomical sciences and the most ancient planetarium in Polynesia.

Pauahi Hall: this is also on the Bishop Museum Campus, with 14 million ready specimens of entomology. It has beyond 16,500 primary kinds of specimens of insects and other arthropods, known to be the 3 rd biggest entomology gathered specimens in the USA, and the 8 th biggest in the whole world.

The museum also managed the Hawai’I Maritime Center in the downtown district between 1988 and 2009. Constructed on a previous private dock of the district harbor for the royals, this point was the “premier maritime museum in the Pacific Rim” having pieces of art with regard to the Pacific whaling business and the Hawai’I steamship business.

The museum also supervises the Army B.H Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, having expertise in home-grown plantation in the vicinity.

The Secretariat of PSA (Pacific Science Association) initiated in 1920 a self-governing provincial, private, academic association at the museum. The purpose of this organization is to enlarge and expand the knowledge of technology and science.

Kaimiloa Mission
Medford Ross Kellum, a missionary from the USA, furnished a 4 masted barkantine in 1924 to drive at a scientific mission, which was wholly left to the scientific group of the district including even the name of that ship ‘Kaimiloa’.

The purpose of this mission was a 5 year long mission to several of the then out-of- the-way places of the Pacific. A chorus of Hawaiian scientist joined the expedition under the auspices of the vast museum.

The ship was an inclusive laboratory floating over the waters, with potential of any vessel with a similar purpose. It has all essential equipment like crates, boxes and bottles. Besides, there were cans of preservatives for Bishop Museum plants and insects. The aims of the mission were comprehensive:

 full collected material of islands subjects varying from plants, insects, archaeological and ethnological specimens and minerals
 complete study of sea creatures
 make charts of ocean currents as appropriately as they could do
 for the USA control, make the findings accurate
 endevour to track down the basic origin of the Polynesians, the dialect and their immigrations
 capture the local people and measure correctly their body portions
 get recordings of their melodies, chants, speech and sounds in phonographic sense
 get knowledge on how the islands came into being, in an attempt to confirm the theory that the islands got separated from the mainland years ago, and they made a “lost continent”.

Falls of Clyde
The Bishop Museum held the Falls of Clyde in the years between 1968 and 2008, the most ancient oil tanker on waters. With the beginning of 20007, the vessel was banned to public visits for tourist safety and to give the ship necessary maintenance because the ship’s deteriorating tank often stemmed up dramatic situation. Marine professionals performed a complete inspection of the ship, costing the museum over $2 million as maintenance charges.

The Bishop Museum warned to sink the vessel in the ending months of 2008 until non- government financial support was increased for a continuous maintanence donation. This proprietorship of the ship was shifted to Friends of Falls of Clyde, which aimed at the ship repair. 2008 had not reached its end, when the museum was condemned for having increased $600,000 for the preservation purpose of the ship, and used just around half that in the repair. The museum was also caught by media to answer about the spending issues.

Major Attractions in Bishop Museum
Just like every popular museum of the world, the Bishop Museum has both opportunities for the tourists; they can view permanent collections, besides they can go for those random exhibitions specially arranged periodically. To talk about the most popular treasures of the permanent showcasing in Hawaiian Hall, which appeal tourists by taking them through the 3 chief realms of Hawaii as given below:

1. Kai Akea
2. Wao Kanaka
3. Wao Lani

Kai Akea
It is place with natural and cultural history of the legends and gods from before the man was created. It exposes Hawaiian tradition to the tourists about happenings and their reasons on earth. According to Hawaiian convictions, all about us has a strong connection with sea. Everything comes from the depths. Both man and gods have their first home “Kahiki”, from where they come on earth. Kamohali’is came in Hawai’I in quest of home, they carried strict moral code. Season to season, Lono comes to impart greenery and bloom to the islands. Currents of migration also gave new convictions and practices to the people. Their tradition says that the beginning from of life had issues for coming from the blue depths.

Wao Kanaka
Wao Kanaka is the internal area where you will find people living and working, where you will see how the nation carries out its duties. It is all about daily routine life of man. Hawaiians will be there busy in growing crops, preparing meals, building shelters. This part has become a point of focus among the visitors due to its pure cultural value. The innocent, local life and their cultural values and behavior is directly put in front of the tourists. This factor is responsible for putting Wao Kanaka at the top of the attractions offered by Bishop Museum.

Wao Lani
This place has great attraction for being attributed as the home of gods. It is a sacred place where gods live with divine powers. There are peaks of steeped mountains in Wao Lani, where visitors can see clouds making a lei. As this place is inhabited by gods, man’s place is below gods’ place, in Wao Kanka. This place is also symbolically mirrors the chiefs of Hawaii, because the natives consider them having gods lineage. Wao Lani, hence, is a place with divine appeal, furnishing the tourists with natural history and the local belief in divine powers. The supernatural element adds to the mystery and dignity of the place. People love to see a place like this and enjoy unseen convictions among people.

Things to do in Bishop Museum
The best thing is to have a program when going to Bishop Museum because of the lots of things a tourist does there. If you love sightseeing above all, it is a must to make a proper research about the potential places. Having data about a place, one is going to see can be helpful and safe for the tour. Moreover, it is also possible to know through research which site offers the best sceneries and mesmerizing views. It is not uncommon to get confused among the various choices because the place has countless picturesque scenes. If your time and energy don’t permit you to go around the whole museum, you can get an idea through your research and can decide upon the most loved places to visit first. If you love to see random activities and exhibitions held in the museum throughout the year, you must come at the time of a specific festivity. Some visitors like to see random exhibits than the permanent ones; they must have information about the time and functioning of those exhibitions before they rush to see them. Besides, having visited the museum only once in the life cannot cover everything offered by it. On the time of events, everything becomes more enjoyable, all you have to do is to have an idea of the particular time of those events in the Bishop Museum.

The Bishop Museum is a wide place to see manifestations of cultural and natural history, man’s connection with his past, cultural life of Hawaiians, periodical events rich in entertainment and fun and everything a super fine museum can offer to the tourists.