Hawaiian Mission Houses celebrates bicentennial with exhibit, events
Hawaiian Mission Houses – National Historic Landmark, museum and archive in downtown Honolulu – is marking 200 years since its “Second Company” of missionaries arrived in the Hawaiian Islands from New Haven.
Now open on site with support from the Atherton Family Foundation – is the new 1831 Chamberlain House exhibit illuminating the partnership between American protestant missionaries and Hawaiian ali‘i.
The exhibit features rotating “Story Spotlights” with the first two on Clarissa Lyman Richards and Levi Chamberlain, who served as secular agent for the mission. This exhibit is interactive, with a “selfie-taking” station. New rooms are open to include a bedroom furnished with collection pieces and touchable samples of textiles, and the kitchen with original rocking chairs made by Hiram Bingham for his wife Sybil, and Queen Ka’ahumanu.
Tours of the 1831 Chamberlain House exhibit are available for $20 – keiki under 13 are free – Tuesday through Saturday at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.
Other bicentennial events are as follows:
- April 25, noon via Zoom – “Archives & Inquiry: Betsey Stockton’s Legacy: A Memorial to the Past, a Challenge for the Future” with author Gregory Nobles, professor emeritus at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and David G. Latimore, director of the Betsey Stockton Center for Black Church Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary.
- April 28, 10 a.m. in person on Oʻahu – “The First Storybook Printed in the Hawaiian Language” talk with Lane Davey, graduate assistant and adjunct lecturer at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and Christopher L. “Chris” Cook, Kaua‘i resident, trustee for the Hawaiian Mission Houses Board and Second Company Bicentennial Committee Chair.
- Davey in her masters thesis titled, “The Moʻo ʻŌlelo of Joseph,” explores the thread of traditional Hawaiian beliefs which are woven into the translation of the first Hawaiian Bible story.
- Cook will present a brief introduction on Hawaiʻi Mission Second Company missionaries James and Louisa Ely who served at the Kaʻawaloa Sub-Mission Station of Chiefess Kapiʻolani along Kealakekua Bay, Hawai‘i Island from 1824-1828.
- April 28, 5 to 8 p.m. in person on O‘ahu – “History Theatre: Hawaiʻi in 1823” is a special presentation of the Poʻokela award-winning history theatre featuring portrayals of Clarissa Lyman Richards, Rev. William Richards, Tauʻā the Tahitian teacher, and emancipated slave Betsey Stockton.
- Ticket price is $45 per person, which includes food. Cash bar.
- From 5 to 6 p.m., food and drinks will be available, the gift shop will be open and guests may take a peek at the new Chamberlain House exhibits.
- Performances will begin promptly at 6 p.m.
- April 29, 1 to 4 p.m. in person on Oʻahu – Family Day covers the grounds of Hawaiian Mission Houses with games and activities galore.
- Tour the new Levi Chamberlain House exhibits.
- Learn the history of the residents of the Mission Memorial Cemetery with a new brochure with QR Codes.
- The Hale Kūʻai Gift Shop features a wide selection of unique merchandise, including books on Hawaiian language, history and culture, stationery, historic photographs, prints and posters, locally crafted jewelry, ceramic bowls and native wood products.
- May 6, 5 p.m. in person on Maui – “History Theatre: Hawaiʻi in 1823” is a special presentation of the Poʻokela award-winning history theatre with performances of W. Richards, B. Stockton, W. E. Tauʻā at Waiola Church in the Waineʻe Cemetery.