One of the greatest contributors to the perpetuation and renewal of traditional canoe building skills is Wright ‘Elemakule Bowman, Jr. “Wrighto,” as he was known to his friends, was born on December 7, 1943, and attended Kamehameha Schools, graduating with the class of 1962. Since his father, “Pa” Bowman, worked and taught at Kamehameha, much of Wrighto’s school time youth revolved around his father’s shop in Kapalama Heights. Wright Bowman Senior was a very talented woodworker and his son was drawn to the profession from an early age. One of his first projects was a tree house in a large monkeypod close to his house. That tree, and the large branch on which that tree house was built, lies directly over the ground on which Wrighto cut and carved the two spruce logs which became the Hawai‘iloa, almost 40 years later. The Hawai‘iloa was Bowman Junior’s last major project, but his work continues through the dedication and energy of his students.
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