Aloha Friends – I am writing to let you know I have finished my canoe “Ho’omau.” Billy, Tay and I discussed different names and felt this one fit. It has been a long 6 years since I started this project and persistence has been the overriding factor. Of course, there would be no canoe without my teacher Tay Perry and the support Billy/Jay and all the Friends…”

Aloha – e Rick

Revitalizing Model Of Hawai`iloa by Artist Ka`ili Chun

The scale model of the Hawaii Loa canoe on view here in the A’o cultural space was constructed in the early part of her 8-year apprenticeship with Mr. Bowman. Ka`ili has continued the Hawaiian practice of building scale replicas of canoes but is most known for her contemporary sculptural installations that address indigenous issues. Her contemporary practice is represented in Numerous museums and galleries such as the University of Alaska Museum; Linden Museum, Stuttgart, Germany; Museum of Art & Design, New York; Sacred Circle Gallery, Washington; The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; the Honolulu Museum of Art and Queensland Art Gallery|Gallery of Modern Art, Australia, have exhibited Chun’s installations.

Ka`ili has received several significant visual art awards. Most recently, she has been commissioned to produce new work for the 2021 Asia/Pacific Triennial for the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia; awarded a Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, 2014, Vancouver, Washington; an Artist Residency at the Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, (2013); The Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, New York City, NY (2010); Santa Fe Art Institute, Artist Residency, Santa Fe, NM (2008); the Individual Artist Visual Arts Fellowship in Conceptual Art, from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (2000) and the Catherine E.B. Cox Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts (2006) from the Honolulu Academy of Arts, which culminated in the solo exhibition, “Nau ka wae, The Choice Belongs to You.” Her work is included in private and institutional collections in Hawai`i, the continental U.S., Germany, and Australia.

The Board of Directors of the Friends of Hokule`a & Hawai`iloa appreciate Ka`ili Chun by continuing the legacy of the canoe builder, “kalai wa`a”. As canoe builders, we take pride in knowing that the skills and experiences given generously to us by kalai wa`a Wright Bowman, Jr. will live on in his name. From one Friend to another Friend, thank you Ka`ili for making this possible.

Model of Hokule’a

  • Dimensions: 11 ft x 2 ft x 4 ft
  • By: Tay Perry and Jay Dowsett
  • Commissioned by: the National Library of Medicine 2011-2015 National Institute of Health for their Native Voices Exhibition
  • Being returned to FHH ETA November

Sharing Hawai‘i’s Legacy

The Au Hou (New Era) is an 18-foot fishing canoe designed and largely built by Bowman, Jr., but Wrighto died before it was completed. The canoe was donated by Sharon Bowman, Wrighto’s widow, to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. After eight months of work by Jason Tabata and Dennis Lai Hipp, the canoe was shipped to Washington, D.C., where, in September 2004, the finishing touches were completed in front of visitors, providing a living, interactive exhibit on traditional Hawaiian canoe building. The National Museum of the American Indian represents all Native American cultures, including Hawaiian.

Although the canoe is small in size, the project represents not only one of the most visible activities of the Friends to date, but also will serve as the Uniki celebration of the apprentices that worked and learned from Wrighto. If successful, the Piko that connects Wrighto to his apprentices can then be cut, and his students will be able to let him go, knowing that the responsibility of continuing the legacy for the living is in good hands.

Aloha Elemakule… Hoaloha me Hoahanau… Aloha no…

Other Projects

  • From scratch (Tay Perry): Ka Ehukai; Mokulua; Paoa; Hokulele; Honolulu
  • Restored (Tay Perry): Leilani; Kakina; ‘Io; Papaloa; Kalanakila; Honaunau; Malia Kapeka; Ka Mo‘i; Kaukahi; Hoaloha; Moloka‘i
  • Prince Kuhio’s canoe, the ‘A, now displayed in the main hall at the Bishop Museum. (Allan Dowsett)
  • The Eala, restoration and refit of a 42-foot double-hulled sailing canoe. (Jerry Ongies)
  • Hokualaka‘i, 58-foot voyaging built for the Aha Punana Leo, Hilo. (Jay Dowsett & Jerry Ongies)
  • Hokule‘a model, one-third scale (21 feet) built for The National Science Museum, Tokyo, Japan. (Jay Dowsett)
  • 58-foot voyaging canoe (Hokualaka‘i mold) for Mau Piaulug, delivered to Na Kalai Wa‘a. (Jay Dowsett)
  • Kanehunamoku, 30-foot double- sailing canoe made for Charter School Halau Ku Mana. (Jay Dowsett & Jerry Ongies)
  • Kea‘eloa, 30-foot double-hull sailing canoe made for the Aha Punana Leo. (Jay Dowsett & Jerry Ongies)
  • NOAA Science Building, 30-foot double-hull sailing canoe for display, Hilo. (Jay Dowsett)
  • University of Hawai‘i, 30-foot double-hulls made for the Department of Hawaiian Studies, sailing and navigation class. (Jay Dowsett)
  • Hokule‘a 25-foot model, for the Willows Restaurant. (Jay Dowsett)
  • Hokule‘a restoration and refit. (Jay Dowsett, Jerry Ongies)
  • Mo‘okiha redesign consultation, seaworthiness plan. (Jay Dowsett, Jerry Ongies)
  • Circa 1860 Kona canoe from the Brooklyn Museum of Arts and Sciences. (Allan Dowsett)
  • Alapi‘i, restoration of a 19th century fishing canoe from South Kona, through Friends of Kaloko-Honokahau. (Jason Tabata)
  • ‘Elemakule, a fish canoe named after Wright Junior’s middle name. (Jason Tabata)
  • Au Hou, built by Wright Bowman Junior and finished by Jason Tabata, details “Sharing Hawai‘i’s Legacy.”