University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

These exhibits are available for viewing during normal library hours.

2006 Hawaiian & Pacific Department Exibits

Go back to the list of exhibits by gallery.

Sound Travels: Ethnomusicology in the Pacific

Through November 2006, on the 5th floor, Special Collections Reading Room.

During November, Honolulu is hosting two major gatherings of preeminent scholars in the field of ethnomusicology: The annual meeting of the Society of Ethnomusicology on November 16-19 in Waikiki, followed by The Study Group on the Musics of Oceania (SGMO) meeting at UH-Manoa, on November 19-21.

The SGMO, a subgroup of the International Council for Traditional Music, consists of researchers specifically devoted to work in the Pacific Islands and Australia. In honor of these two gatherings, throughout November Special Collections is displaying selected musical instruments from Hawaii (a puniu, or knee drum), greater Polynesia (poi balls from Aotearoa), Micronesia (a ngaok, or reed flute from Palau) and Melanesia (a kundu, or hour-glass drum, from Papua New Guinea), all of which have been provided for this exhibit by the university's Ethnomusicology Program. (Special thanks to professor Jane Moulin and graduate assistant Chad Pang for facilitating the loan of these rare and extremely valuable instruments.)

drum from Papua, New Guinea
Tongan dancers
Pacific woman in dance costumer
exhibit board - full view

Root's Revival: Kava in the 21st Century

Kava (Piper methysticum) is believed to have first been domesticated on Vanuatu some 3,000 years ago. Since then it has spread through much of the Pacific, with kava-drinking ceremonies serving important religious, cultural and social functions from New Guinea to Kosrae, Fiji to Hawaii, Samoa, French Polynesia and many points between (and beyond).

In recent years it has also become a major economic engine for the Pacific, with kava being marketed worldwide in a variety of forms for both medicinal and recreational use. During October, Special Collections is exploring the many facets of this important Pacific plant via our latest display.

drawing of a Tongan kava ceremony
Fijian kava bowl
Hawaiian kava bowl
Tongan kava ceremony

Dear Diary

Check out this Special Collections display (through September 2006)in the Reading Room 501

"April 21
Dear diary, the most amazing thing has happened to me ..."

Catch a glimpse of the history and culture of old Hawaii in diaries and journals in the Hawaiian Collection.

An excerpt from one of the journals:

"January 30, 1893

I almost thought my heart had stopped as I read those bleak, abrupt words. I looked at him, looked at the telegrams, and then looked back at him. "What does it mean?" I asked, stupidly. He explained that the monarchy has been overthrown. Auntie Lydia is no longer the queen, and the Hawaiian way of life may be gone forever.
And I am no longer a princess."
from Ka'iulani, the People's Princess

pic of diary exhibit board
pic of diary on disply-Russian View of Honolulu
pic of banner
pic of diary on exhibit
pic of diary on exhibit - Hawaiian Chiefs' Childrens School


On display at the Special Collections Reading Room 501 until mid-August 2006.

Eat MORE, eat LESS,
eat this, don't eat that,
the Waianae Diet, the Hawaii Diet,
NO red meat, vegan,
reduced SALT, and SUGAR FREE:

Come and see our exhibit to help you find your way through a lot of dieting books and cookbooks and to discover healthy and delicious foods in Hawaii and the Pacific.

Don't forget to grab some healthy recipes before you leave!

pic of exhibit
pic of exhibit text
bat soup book
pic of newspaper article

JUST MARRIED: Wedding Traditions in Hawai'i & the Pacific

On display at the Special Collections Reading Room 501 until the end of June 2006.

Ever wondered where the different culture's wedding traditions seen at local Hawaii weddings came from? We still cut the cake and throw the bouquet, but why do we shout "banzai!" and feed the bride and groom dollar bills? Why do we have lion dancing and bottles of scotch on every table? For everyone planning a wedding or have ever attended a wedding, we've got the answers. Come to see our "Just Married" display to learn about various traditions that have been adopted into Hawai'i's local wedding culture. Don't miss the photos of library staff on their wedding day. Special Collections is still collecting photos, so please send them to Krissy or Andrea. Here are two bits of information you can find when you come to view the exhibit:

Question: How would you toast the bride and groom in wishing them happiness, bright future, and health in the following languages? Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, or Portuguese


Chinese: Gonbei (may you live 10,000 years) - said 3 times
Filipino: Mabuhay (long life)
Japanese: Banzai (guests to the couple, then from the family to the guests) - said 3 times Kampai (here's to your health) - is the traditional toast in Japan
Korean: Mansei (may you live 10,000 years) - said 3 times
Portuguese: Salud (to your health)

Found at

Question: What are two important customs in a Tongan wedding?


  • Gift giving of fine mats and tapa made by women and the preparation of food by men for the feast table.
  • Kava ceremony. The wedding day is the only time that a woman is honored at a kava ritual where she is allowed to sit in the place of honor.

Found in Joan Clarke's Family traditions in Hawai'i: birthday, marriage, funeral and cultural customs in Hawai'i Honolulu: Namkoong Publishing. 1994. DU624.5 .C53 1994

exhibit pic1
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exhibit pic5

Beyond Cat's Cradles

Through May 2006
Special Collections Reading Room, Fifth floor, Hamilton Library

Many of us remember making string figures as children - in the process, whether we knew it or not, we were participating in a worldwide tradition that spans back many generations. In Hawaii and the Pacific, the practice of making string figures dates back to before first European contact; some were used as part of funerary rituals, others to tell stories tied (so to speak) to specific regions. In oral societies, these figures thus become more than just child's play in a sense, they are a means of preserving (and passing on) history. Please check us out.

exhibit photo - boy
exhibit photo
exhibit photo hands with string

Going Native: How to Grow Native Plants in your Garden

On display in the Special Collections Reading Room Hamilton 5th floor from now through the end of March 2006.

We have books on how to identify native Hawaiian plants, general care, planting strategies, places to see native Hawaiian plants, and a list of nurseries that propagate without endangering wild populations. Even you can create a native Hawaiian garden.

Which of these plants are native Hawaiian plants?

  1. Coconut
  2. Hala
  3. Ilima
  4. Kalo/Taro
  5. Koa
  6. Kukui
  7. Maile
  8. Naupaka
  9. Pikake
  10. Plumeria
  11. Protea
  12. Puakenikeni
  13. Sandalwood
  14. Ti
  15. Torch Ginger
  16. Wiliwili

Which ones are indigenous and which ones are endemic to Hawaii?

Island Rendezvous: Find Romance in the Hawaiian & Pacific Collections

"The self-imposed restraint on his emotions broke free, and he closed his arms around her. He expected some resistance, but there was none. There was only the warmth of giving, and a strong response that further ignited his desires. Her mouth was open, her breath sweet as the scent of flowers. As they locked together in a fiery kiss, David felt the supple length of Liliha's marvelous body against his. Her flesh was sleek, and his hands roamed freely over her in avid exploration..."

from Love's Pagan Heart by Patricia Matthews only in the Hawaiian Collection

On display are a selection of modern and historical romance novels, and ways to say "I love you" in Hawaiian and several Pacific Islands languages. Escape to your favorite island paradise, find the man of your dreams, and check out the display in Special Collections.

romance novel cover
romance novel cover
romance novel cover
romance novel cover

Kung Hee Fat Choy

Through January 2006
Special Collections, Fifth floor, Hamilton Library

If you're enjoying 2006, then you're going to love 4704. That's right: It's time to ring in the Chinese New Year--January 29 kicks off the Year of the Dog!

Special Collections has on display books on Chinese traditions in Hawai'i. Read about ways to celebrate Chinese new year. Check out your Chinese zodiac/sign and read your horoscope. See what's in store for you in the Year of the Dog. Pick up a recipe for jai to make this weekend in celebration of Chinese new year.

exhibit photo
exhibit photo

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