Salem will say Aloha to Hawai‘i’s iconic voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa when she arrives at Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Thursday, July 14. The 62-foot catamaran is in the midst of a multi-year circumnavigation of the globe to raise awareness of Polynesian maritime culture and ocean conservation.
Hōkūleʻa will be docked at Central Wharf at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and she will be open for public canoe tours on Thursday from 1:00 – 5:00 PM.
A Polynesian voyaging canoe, Hōkūle‘a has been built in the tradition of ancient Hawaiian wa‘a kaulua (double-hulled voyaging canoe). Launched March 8, 1975, Hōkūle‘a (“Star of Gladness”) helped spark a revival of Hawaiian culture and wayfinding and is the iconic symbol of the Worldwide Voyage.
Salem has some remarkable connections to Hawaii via the Peabody Essex Museum, Phillips House, and the House of the Seven Gables.
Salem’s centuries-old connection with Hawai’i may be found at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), one of the oldest, largest and fastest-growing museums in the country. Since the museum’s inception in 1799, PEM has collected art and cultural objects from the Pacific Islands and its collection of more than 22,000 works — 3,000 of which are Native Hawaiian — is considered among the most important in the world. Visitors may explore another aspect of Salem-Hawaiian history through an immersive gallery recreation of Cleopatra’s Barge, an opulent 19th century yacht that launched from Salem and went on to become the royal yacht of King Kamehameha II who renamed it Ha’aheo o Hawai’i (“Pride of Hawai’i”).
Historic New England’s Phillips House is offering special tours focused on their Oceanic collection at 1:00pm and 3:00pm on Friday, July 15. The Phillips House flies the Hawaiian flag to symbolize the family’s connection to Hawaii and passion for Oceanic culture, which goes back to 1866 when Stephen Henry Phillips was the Attorney General for the Kingdom of Hawaii under King Kamehameha V. The family’s Oceanic collections include hundreds of artifacts, rare books, archives, and images dating from the late 1700s through the mid-20th century.
At the House of the Seven Gables visitors and crew can learn about Retire Beckett through a small exhibit, which will be on view. The Retire Beckett House, now the Museum Store, was home of shipbuilder Retire Beckett (1753-1851). Beckett has to his credit the yacht Cleopatra’s Barge, which was built in 1817 and visited 16 ports in Europe and North Africa until it was stripped and sold to King Kamehameha II in 1820. A replica of the yacht’s cabins is on display at the Peabody Essex Museum. On Friday and Saturday the Gables will feature interactive family programming inspired by the canoe’s visit to Salem.
For more information on the Hōkūleʻa , visit Hokulea.com; Salem Maritime National Historic Site: nps.gov/sama; and visiting Salem: salem.org. Join the conversation on social media with @destsalem and tag #SalemMA and #HokuleainSalem.
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