Wednesday, January 12, 2011

REWIND: Planet Hawaii, Signs of the Islands on Earth (DC, 2008)

Tucked into a corner of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian was the only exhibit piece devoted to the native Hawaiians (well, at least during this December 2008 visit). I asked someone at the information desk if there were other pieces about the indigenous population of the USA's 50th state and was told that exhibits are rotated and it's possible there are other artifacts not on display.

So here it is, a photo of the Native Hawaiian Canoe (pictured above) albeit one that was constructed in 2003. The canoe is made of koa, hau and wili-wili woods. The hull measures 18 feet and the outrigger is 8 feet 5 inches.

Opened in September 2004, the museum is the 16th museum of the Smithsonian Institution and was built on the last open space available on the National Mall. The five-story 250,000-square foot museum building has an unusual architecture compared to other Smithsonian museums. The curvilinear structure of textured golden-colored limestone evokes natural rock formations and is set in a 4.25-acre site with wetlands and boulders. The centerpiece of the interior is a 120-foot-high atrium.

The museum is located 4th & Independence Ave, SW in Washington, DC. Hours 10am-5:30pm daily. Admission is free. Cafe & gift shop is on site. More info at

Above & below: the musuem's atrium ceiling hovers
above the ground floor.


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