Ko Olina, Hawai‘i – In a unique partnership with Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Four Seasons Resort Oʻahu at Ko Olina is honored to showcase the Aa, Prince Kūhiō’s legendary racing canoe, built in 1902.
Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole (1871–1922), born to Kekaulike Kinoiki II and David Kahalepouli Piʻikoi, was a prince of the Hawaiian Kingdom. During his youth, he was educated in California, gained political experience in Japan and back in Hawaiʻi, and completed his formal education in England. This training would prepare him well while he served as a representative of the Territory of Hawaii to the United States Congress from 1903–1922.
The Aa (originally named the A) was commissioned by Prince Kūhiō in 1902 and built by Henry Weeks in Kona out of solid koa wood. It was the first canoe specifically designed as a six-man racing canoe. Prince Kūhiō wanted the fastest racing canoe in the Islands, and the Aa would go on to win many competitions between 1906 and 1910. In September of 1906, captained by Manuia Maunupau, the Aa won its first race on the island of Oʻahu. This race marked one of the first uses of the modern ama (outrigger float) and ʻiako (outrigger boom), which were attached to the Aa.
After the passing of Prince Kūhiō in 1922, the Aa was gifted to Bishop Museum in 1923 as part of the Kapiʻolani-Kalanianaʻole Collection, named in honor of both Prince Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole and Queen Kapiʻolani. However, the Aa remained in Waikīkī at the Outrigger Canoe Club, where it was occasionally used, eventually coming to Bishop Museum.
In 1952 the canoe was put under the custodianship of Herbert Dowsett, who restored it. The Aa was actively raced through the mid-1960s and has been restored several times over the past 50 years by the Dowsett family. It is now prominently displayed in the hotel lobby, beneath the soaring 17-story atrium of Four Seasons Resort Oʻahu at Ko Olina, where it will be enjoyed by visitors and residents alike.
“The outrigger canoe, deeply symbolic of Hawaiian culture, has been given pride of place at Four Seasons. We are honored to showcase one of the most refined examples of craftsmanship in a Hawaiian racing canoe, commissioned by an aliʻi dedicated to the welfare of the Hawaiian people,” said Charlie Parker, General Manager, Four Seasons Resort Oʻahu at Ko Olina.
“Bishop Museum is pleased that both visitors to Hawai’i and our local community may now enjoy this valuable cultural treasure, beautifully presented at the Four Seasons Resort Oʻahu at Ko Olina.” said Melanie Y. Ide, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum.
Prince Kūhiō Day
Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole Day celebrates Prince Kūhiō’s life and his efforts to improve the lives of people in Hawaiʻi. Born on the island of Kauaʻi in 1871, Prince Kūhiō was named an heir to the throne by Queen Liliʻuokalani.
Prince Kūhiō was a patriot and fought to restore the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi after the political changes of the 1890s. As an aliʻi (chief) dedicated to the continued welfare of his people, Prince Kūhiō began his near 20-year career as a delegate to the United States Congress in 1903. In this role he hoped to achieve more for Hawaiʻi by educating his fellow Congressional delegates and securing their votes on issues of import. Kūhiō successfully garnered appropriations for the dredging of Honolulu Harbor and the establishment of Pearl Harbor and the Hawaii National Parks. However, he is perhaps most noted for his political efforts to provide lands for his people in a homesteading program. This program was signed into law on July 9, 1921, as the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.
In addition to his political success, Prince Kūhiō, along with his close friends, founded the first Hawaiian Civic Club in 1918. Its purpose was to benefit the Native Hawaiian community through education, organized leadership, and civic responsibility. A decisive leader during an era of great change, Prince Kūhiō died in Waikīkī on January 7, 1922. In 1949 a holiday was created in his honor.
About Four Seasons
An oasis of luxury on Oʻahu’s leeward coast, Four Seasons Resort Oʻahu at Ko Olina balances a classic Hawaiian style with one-of-a-kind luxury, just 35 minutes from downtown Honolulu. Edged to the north by the pristine nature preserve of Lanikuhonua (“where heaven meets the earth”) and to the south by Ko Olina’s four lovely beach coves, Oʻahu’s first Four Seasons is recognized by Travel & Leisure as one of the world’s top new resorts in 2017. The resort boasts 370 luxury guest rooms and suites, five restaurants, four pools, a 35,000 square foot spa & wellness centre and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and Ko Olina’s turquoise-blue waters. It’s a short walk to the award-winning Ko Olina Golf Club and just a few minutes’ drive to the Ko Olina Marina, Hawaii’s only private deep-draft marina. In 2016, Four Seasons Resort Oʻahu at Ko Olina introduced #FSWayfinders, an ongoing series of workshops honoring revered cultural storytellers, artisans, crafters, and some of Hawaii’s most fascinating living legends.
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, two 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 www.BishopMuseum.org, 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.