We are deeply indebted to the Bishop Museum for its continued loan of the mea makamae, which form the core of our traditional cultural exhibits.

Photo KPEmory 254a Kenneth Emory setting up a shot at the cliff of Kaunolu (Cover of the Emory Photo Album, courtesy of Robin Kaye)

A model program of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum has facilitated the granting of an extended loan of significant Hawaiian artifacts gathered on Lāna‘i between ca. 1912 to 1922, to the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center. This collection represents mea makamae (treasured items) given to Kenneth Emory during his 1921-1922 survey of Lāna‘i, by native families, the Munros and Gays, and items which he personally collected during his field work. The loan enables Lāna‘i’s people to care for and display artifacts reflective of the material culture of the traditional residents of the island and is a model which brings museum resources back home to their place of origin.

Bishop Museum Loan No. 15565 was originally entered into in 1992, with Castle & Cooke/Lanai Company (with the assistance of Sol Kahoohalahala), for displays in the newly opened Manele Bay Resort. In 2006, The Lāna‘i Archaeological Committee secured the loan and transferred the artifacts up to Lāna‘i City, where they became a part of the newly organized Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center.

During his field work on Lāna‘i, Kenneth Emory kept a daily log of letters, documenting his activities and collections. One such entry from his letters follows: 

"Sunday, August 7, 1921 We began the day dutifully, Hector and I put up a tent for the kids. We played with them for a long time. About 10 a.m. I took it into my head to go back to Kaa. Ruby put up my lunch. As Hector was willing to come after me in the Ford I left on foot. Oh, I was foot sore by 4 o’clock but look at this list of specimens which I now have, all but the axes and two ulumaika stones came from Kaa.

44 ulumaikas(12 fine condition; 13 poor; 9 broken; 10 unfinished); 3 sling stones; 22 coral files; 4 sharpening stones; 1 coral bath rubber;3 lava bath rubbers; 1 bird-trap holder; 1 spindle for a top, broken; 1 ? handle for drill; 8 shells bored for squid bait; 1 stone, unknown purpose; 1 part of a lamp; 19 adzes in the rough; 6 pebbles used as hammers; 6 hammers; 126 specimens     

I covered pretty thoroughly 10 acres for this collection. Mr. Munroe tells me of other places like this on the top-land and one which is even more promising. In the above search I came across the track used in playing the ulumaika game of bowling. It was a perfectly level stretch of hard ground a hundred yards or more long, on the top of a rise. Along the track were ulumaika stone, about 20, some of them broken probably in the third part of the game where they are rolled against each other by the opponents. I did not pick up hundreds of sharpening and polishing stone and bored shells, only a few of the most representative or unusual…"

LĀNA‘I artifacts — kenneth emory collection