Former park ranger to reprise ‘Ke Kapili Manu Kahiko: The Old Hawaiian Bird Hunters’ program at Lyman Museum

  • Photo courtesy of S. Levins & A. Wang: Noah Gomes in the rain forest habitat.
  • Photo courtesy of Wikipedia: Feather helmet and cape.
  • Photo courtesy of S. Levins & A. Wang: Noah Gomes with ‘apapane.

By popular demand, former park ranger Noah Gomes returns to reprise “Ke Kapili Manu Kahiko: The Old Hawaiian Bird Hunters,” a wonderful program originally presented in March at the Lyman Museum in Hilo.

Once-abundant native bird resources were used by Hawaiians for many purposes before contact in 1778 with British explorer Capt. James Cook and during the period of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the 1800s. Best-known among these uses was the spectacular and regal featherwork worn by the ali‘i, but birds also were an important source of meat for Hawaiians.

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Hunting and capture methods varied among hunters, districts, islands, seasons and bird species. Gomes, a former park ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and now with Kamehameha Schools, has conducted extensive research into traditional Hawaiian bird-catching using a variety of sources, including testimonies dating to the 1800s.

Gomes shares what he learned about this important and many-faceted Hawaiian relationship with the ‘aina on two occasions, from 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, June 18, and 3-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, at the museum.

The presentation is part of Lyman’s Saigo Public Program lecture series. Admission is free to museum members, $3 for nonmembers.

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The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum is located at 276 Haili St. and showcases the natural and cultural history of Hawaii. Hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

For more information, call 935-5021 or visit www.lymanmuseum.org.

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