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Portrait of King Kamehameha II

The Kauai Museum Presents: “Haaheo o Hawaii”

November 07, 2017

In 1824, a royal yacht belonging to King Kamehameha II ran aground off the north shore of Kauai. Named “Haaheo o Hawaii” (“Pride of Hawaii”), it was originally built in Salem, Massachusetts, and named “Cleopatra’s Barge.” The Haaheo sunk to the bottom of the Hanalei Bay, and was considered unrecoverable. Over time she became covered in sand and it would be 170 years later until she was rediscovered in the late 1990s by an agent under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

In 2015, after years spent at the Smithsonian and the Peabody Essex Museum, the artifacts recovered from the boat were graciously donated to the Kauai Museum in Lihue by the Smithsonian. The museum staff spent many hours unpacking crates, building custom koa wood cases, and cataloguing hundreds of items, which included a conch shell horn, coins, stone poi pounders, ship decorations, and ivory. The “Haaheo O Hawaii” exhibit will remain at the museum until August 15th, 2018. For hours and more information, call (808) 245-6931, or click here.