Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea left Salem, Massachusetts on Saturday morning after spending two days engaging with the community. During the stop, the crew was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Peabody Essex Museum’s Oceanic Arts and Culture Gallery, which is currently closed to the public due to renovations.
This was a significant visit for the crew because of the museum’s collection of 20,000 objects from more than 36 island groups in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. Among them are 5,000 Hawaiian objects that form one of the most important collections of its kind outside of Hawaii.
Part of the collection is one of the three statue images of Hawaiian god Kukailimoku. Only two other large carved images of Kukailimoku have survived: one at the British Museum and the other at the Bishop Museum. The three Ku images were brought together for the first time in more than 150 years for a groundbreaking exhibit at Bishop Museum in 2010.
Hokulea departed Salem on Saturday at about 6:30 a.m. (12:30 a.m. HST) for Portsmouth, NH where the crew arrived at about 2:00 p.m. and were greeted by three members of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People, led by Chief Paul Pouliot. The voyaging canoe is scheduled to depart Portsmouth on Tuesday, July 19, for Portland, Maine.