Bishop Museum Acquires Significant New Hawaiian Carving

Bishop Museum is honored to announce the recent acquisition of a carved wooden ki‘i (image) representative of the Hawaiian god Kū. The ki‘i was purchased by Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne from the collection of Pierre and Claude Vérité through a public auction held at Christie’s Paris in November 2017.

“We felt strongly that this ki‘i belonged in Hawai‘i, for the education and benefit of its people,” said Marc Benioff. “As a part of Bishop Museum’s permanent collections, the ki‘i will be cared for in perpetuity and will be shared with future generations of the people of Hawai‘i.”

The carving was part of the collection of Claude Vérité, a Paris-based art dealer, who received it from his father, the art connoisseur and collector Pierre Vérité. According to the family’s history, Pierre obtained the image in the 1940s. There is no further historical record of the carving, or how it may have made its way to Paris and into the hands of the Vérité family.

Standing 20 inches tall, the ki‘i is a human figure in a warrior pose, knees bent and calves flexed, hands clenched at the back of the thighs. The open mouth has clearly delineated teeth while the jaw thrusts forward. A headdress, typical of Kū images, is draped over the head and hangs around the shoulders. The ki‘i exhibits all of the features of the classic “Kona style” of images, generally attributed to carvers who worked in the Kona area of Hawai‘i Island during the reign of Kamehameha I, up until the overthrow of the ‘Ai kapu, a system of religious, political, and social laws that governed Hawai‘i until 1819. The carving exhibits considerable technical finesse, such as the fine faceting of the surface made by repeated cuts with a small adz. The carving bears a close resemblance to another wooden ki‘i in the collection of the British Museum in London, obtained by British missionaries visiting Kona in 1822. There are also differences between the two images, including the presence of what appear to be bracelets around the wrists of the ki‘i. The hands of the ki‘i in the British Museum are missing.

Prior to the auction, Christie’s arranged for the wood to be identified and for a small sample taken from the base to be radiocarbon dated. The wood is of the genus Metrosideros, or ‘ōhi‘a, found throughout the islands of Hawai‘i and Oceania. Kū images were often carved of ‘ōhi‘a wood. The radiocarbon data obtained by Christie’s has four possible calendar age ranges, because radiocarbon dating in this time period is imprecise due to “wiggles” in the curve used to convert radiocarbon ages to calendar dates. The two most likely age ranges for the ki‘i are AD 1798-1891 and AD 1717-1780. The Bishop Museum plans to carry out additional tests in an effort to more precisely date the ki‘i.

“This ki‘i is a remarkable piece and a tremendous addition to the Museum’s collections,” said Melanie Ide, Bishop Museum’s president and CEO. “We’re incredibly grateful to the Benioffs for their extraordinary generosity and look forward to sharing the ki‘i and its many stories with the world.”

The image will be a centerpiece in a new exhibition at Bishop Museum opening in February 2019, following the close of the Hawaiian season of peace known as Makahiki. Museum researchers will continue to study the carving while planning for the exhibition, which will explore the multiplicity of stories surrounding the ki‘i. In addition, the Museum plans to hold a carving workshop and symposium prior to the exhibition, during which contemporary artists, scholars and the community will engage with the ki‘i and other images in the Museum’s collections to increase awareness, scholarship and understanding of Native Hawaiian history, culture and practices.

Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner and Bishop Museum Board Member Danny Akaka Jr. said, “Over the years, many of Hawai‘i’s cultural treasures have resided outside of Hawai‘i. Some have returned home, others not yet. Today we can celebrate the arrival of this ki‘i to Hawai‘i and to the Bishop Museum where it will serve as a symbol of great cultural pride as well as a reflection of Hawai‘i’s spiritual past.”

About Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum:

Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum’s mission is to inspire our community and visitors through the exploration and celebration of the extraordinary history, culture, and environment of Hawai‘i and the Pacific. The Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in memory of his wife Bernice Pauahi Bishop, a royal descendant of King Kamehameha I. Today, the Museum is widely regarded as the world’s premier institution for Hawaiian and Pacific materials and an important community educational resource. Its vast collections of more than 25 million objects represent nine disciplines and include more than 22 million biological specimens, 2 million archaeological artifacts and samples, 77,000 cultural objects, 115,000 historical publications, and one million photographs, films, works of art, audio recordings, and manuscripts. These collections tell the stories of the cultures and biodiversity of Hawai‘i and the Pacific as well as the proud legacy of scholarly research spanning more than 125 years. Bishop Museum serves more than 200,000 visitors each year, including more than 20,000 schoolchildren. To learn more about the Museum’s research, collections, exhibits, and programs, visit, follow @BishopMuseum on Twitter and Instagram, become a fan of Bishop Museum on Facebook, visit Bishop Museum’s YouTube channel, or call (808) 847-3511. Bishop Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Lime suspends Honolulu scooter rentals

Official statement from LimeBike:

Yesterday, the City offered us a rationale behind impounding our scooters, citing our low-speed electric scooters classify as mopeds. As a result, we have decided to temporarily suspend our service out of respect for the city, our riders, and local team-members, while we review the relevant code and evaluate our next steps.

We hope to be able to work collaboratively with City leaders to establish a sensible regulatory framework around this new shared scooter model so that we can return to serving the City & County of Honolulu.

Nearly two thousand riders in Honolulu have already relied on our scooters as their convenient, affordable transportation option, and we are eager to bring our scooters back to the City soon.

Lime aims to improve urban mobility, transportation, and cities by transforming the way people get around them and eliminating traffic congestion. We hope to do the same for Honolulu, as we have in the 60 other markets where we operate.

HPU unveils new logo, designed by Sig Zane

Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) unveiled its new logo today, designed by the legendary Hawaiian artists and storytellers of Sig Zane Designs, during a brand launch event for students, faculty and staff at Aloha Tower Marketplace. The new logo accompanies an overall rebranding of HPU, providing a cohesive, impactful and professional representation of the university’s values, priorities, and purpose.

“We saw an opportunity to better tell our university’s story particularly how we transform lives with our personalized hands on approach to education,” said John Gotanda, president of HPU. “Our new brand speaks to our core beliefs and embodies the innovation and uniqueness of Hawaii Pacific University.”

HPU enlisted the help of one of the nation’s leading higher education market research and creative firms, SimpsonScarborough, to develop the new brand based on interviews with alumni, local business executives and prospective students and parents, among others. The new brand is founded on six strategic drivers: hands-on experiential learning through a personal tailored approach, a close-knit and supportive learning environment, a focus on robust academics and our strength of locations and diversity and cross cultural environment.

Desiring a fresh logo design representative of the University’s commitment to Hawaii, its local community, and the Hawaiian values of Pono, Kuleana and Aloha, HPU sought the talents of legendary local artist, Sig Zane. “We are passionate about design, sharing Hawaii’s culture and practices through storytelling, and approaching every project from a native perspective,” said Zane. “HPU wanted a logo that captured the deep traditions and values of our islands, so we wove elements together into a story speaking to the rich history of our aina and created a logo that would be a clear and lasting representation of HPU’s roots in Hawaii.”

Hawaii Pacific University believes the new branding and logo will increase unity and pride within the institution’s community while providing powerful messaging to the world reflective of HPU’s exceptional place in the higher education landscape. From new brochures, a refreshed website, video commercials and other materials utilizing the new brand and logo, HPU is further positioning itself as a leader who empower students to get up close and personal with the subjects they’re passionate about.

Latest long-term Mars habitat crew a global mix

Now in its sixth year, the University of Hawaii at Manoa Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) is set to begin its next mission with the most international crew in the history of the research project. The four astronaut-like Mission VI crewmembers hail from Australia, Korea, Scotland and Slovakia.

They are:

  • Sukjin Han: an assistant professor in economics at University of Texas at Austin, specializing in econometrics. His research focuses mainly on developing statistical methods to evaluate causal effects of treatments or interventions, such as medical interventions, social programs or economic policies. He is particularly interested in settings where treatments are endogenously determined by agents in the system, due to the optimization and interaction of the agents.
  • Michaela Musilova: An astrobiologist with a research focus on life in extreme environments (extremophiles). Her astrobiology and space research experience includes working on astrobiology and planetary protection research projects at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; simulating lunar and planetary surfaces through NASA’s and the UK Space Agency’s MoonLite project; searching for exoplanets at the University of London Observatory; and being an analogue astronaut at the Mars Desert Research Station, USA in 2014 and 2017.
  • Calum Hervieu: An astrophysicist and systems engineer, who grew up in rural Scotland. Prior to joining HI-SEAS Mission VI, Hervieu was part of the Spaceship EAC initiative at European Space Agency’s European Astronaut Centre, Germany, where he was working to develop goals and best practices for future human and robotic missions to the lunar surface.
  • Lisa Stojanovski:  professional science communicator who is passionate about making humanity a spacefaring civilization. In 2017, Stojanovski toured remote and regional Australia with the Shell Questacon Science Circus to earn a master of science communication outreach. Stojanovski creates content for the live web show TMRO, while managing the Australian chapter of the Space Generation Advisory Council.

At approximately 5 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time on Thursday, February 15, they will enter a geodesic dome habitat atop Mauna Loa on the island of Hawaii as part of an eight-month research study of human behavior and performance. The NASA-funded project aims to help determine the individual and team requirements for long-duration space exploration missions, including travel to Mars.

The crew started nine days of briefings and training on Wednesday, February 7, joined by scientific researchers and mission support to prepare for HI-SEAS Mission VI.

HI-SEAS Principal Investigator and UH Manoa Professor, Kim Binsted is excited about the international diversity of Mission VI and the role HI-SEAS plays in understanding human behavior and performance in space.

“This is the first time we’ve selected a crew that includes members from four different countries of origin. As HI-SEAS is an international collaboration between researchers, mission support and crew, it is great to see this diversity reflected in the Mission VI crew,” said Binsted.”For humans to successfully undertake a long-duration spaceflight to Mars, it will require a global collaboration, and so it seems appropriate that our Mission VI begins with this spirit of internationalism.”

During the eight-month mission the crew will perform exploration tasks such as geological fieldwork and life systems management. The mission is conducted under isolated and confined conditions designed to be similar to those of a planetary surface exploration mission. For example, all communications are delayed by 20 minutes in each direction to simulate the time it takes a message to travel between Earth and Mars. Daily routines include food preparation from only shelf-stable ingredients, exercise, research and field work aligned with NASA’s planetary exploration expectations.

Under the watchful eye of the research team and supported by experienced mission control, the crew will participate in multiple primary and opportunistic research studies. The primary research is conducted by scientists from across the United States who are at the forefront of their fields.

The primary behavioral research includes a shared social behavioral task for team building, continuous monitoring of face-to-face interactions with sociometric badges, a virtual reality team-based collaborative exercise to predict individual and team behavioral health and performance and multiple stress and cognitive countermeasure and monitoring studies.

HI-SEAS Mission VI continues a series of successful 8-month and 12-month missions that place HI-SEAS in the company of a small group of analogs capable of operating very long duration missions in isolated and confined environments such as Mars500, Concordia and the International Space Station.

HI-SEAS Mission VI follows the successful eight-month Mission V that was completed in September 2017.

State Department enlists Hawaii Open Data for Tunisia project

The U.S. Department of State is funding a project to improve the use of open data in Tunisia, and has tapped local non-profit Hawaii Open Data to lead the initiative.

The funding comes from the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs within the State Department, through its Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative.

Burt Lum, executive director of Hawaii Open Data, was engaged by MEPI as a volunteer expert under the auspices of the Financial Services Volunteer Corporation to launch the Tunisia open data initiative. FSVC located Lum through the Open Knowledge Foundation, where he serves as the ambassador for the U.S.

The World Bank is also involved in the Tunisia project in a coordinating role.

Lum’s role is part of the FSVC’s initiative to help the Tunisian government to make more of its public data open and accessible, thereby driving economic development, as well as improving government transparency. Lum participated in open data workshops the first two days of a week-long workshop in Tunisia last week, and facilitated discussions among various ministries, civic society organizations and state-owned enterprises.

Lum also met with the Office Du Commerce De La Tunisie (OCT), which is responsible for foreign imports, including sugar, tea, coffee, rice and spices. His meeting with OCT was followed by a consultation with the Office of Vocation and Workforce Development. His consultation concluded on Friday at a meeting with the Institut National de la Météorologie to discuss weather data.

“After the revolution in 2011 that created the Tunisian democracy, it is impressive how the national government has embraced open government and open data as ways to build trust in government,” Lum said in a press release. “I am quite honored to have been invited to participate in this important initiative.”

Lum advised the government organizations on the selection of open data formats, data integrity, and governance to help them prepare for publication of the data on the government’s open data portal.

About Hawaii Open Data

Hawaii Open Data, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is dedicated to advancing the adoption of open data/knowledge standards and the development of solutions leveraging open data in Hawaii. Hawaii Open Data focuses on helping organizations leverage data as an asset through education and improving data accessibility and integrity. Hawaii Open Data pursues its initiatives to support public-private collaboration, government transparency, and civic engagement. The organization’s core focus areas include research, best practices, tech policy community building and civic engagement.