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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 2, 2010

Outrigger Reef hotel opens canoe museum in its lobby

Advertiser Staff

The Outrigger Reef on the Beach has opened an exhibit in the hotel lobby that highlights the Hawaiian traditions of canoe building and voyaging.

The "Canoe Hale," open daily and free to the public, is a collaborative effort of the Outrigger Reef and The Friends of Hokule'a and Hawai'iloa, Mission Houses Museum, and Bishop Museum.

"The Outrigger Reef is committed to expanding the public's understanding of Hawaiian traditions, so we are thrilled to have this exquisite display on Hawaii's voyaging history through the art of canoe building for our guests, visitors and local residents to enjoy," said Bill Comstock, general manager of the Outrigger Reef on the Beach.

The exhibit includes the steering paddle from the voyaging canoe Hawai'iloa, as well as a replica of the Hawai'iloa crafted by master woodworker Wright Bowman Sr.

"Outrigger was a proud sponsor of the 1995 Hawai'iloa voyage to the Marquesas, so we are particularly proud to have the steering paddle and replica of Hawai`iloa on display," Comstock said.

Also featured is the Kaiolahia, a traditional racing canoe (circa 1915) that was restored by master canoe artisan Tay Perry.

Also on display are an adze or koi stone cutting ax, a canoe cross section with lashing, mother of pearl traditional fishing lures and a conch shell from the Cook Islands. A favorite piece in the exhibit is the lei hulu (feather lei), which is hung high atop the boom of the canoe's crab-claw sail when it is under way.