Polynesian Voyagers

Open October 1, 2016 – June 11, 2017

Polynesian Voyagers opens October 1, 2016 in conjunction with Hokule’a‘s second visit to Hampton Roads. This exhibition will feature the time-honored navigational skills of the Polynesian navigators who relied on their knowledge of waves, winds, stars, and nature instead of modern instruments.

In collaboration with Hawaiian educators, the Hokule’a crew and staff, and the Polynesian community, this new exhibition is designed to evoke the feeling of what it is to be a voyager. Guests will encounter displays demonstrating the origin of the Polynesian culture and community and how they are inherently maritime focused. With an emphasis on navigational techniques that precede technology, the exhibition will guide visitors through the story of exploration and settlement of the vast Pacific islands. Polynesian Voyagers will feature the traditional supplies and methods encountered on a Polynesian voyaging canoe, and guests will be able to listen to Polynesian chants that would have been used in ancient times to share history among civilizations without a common language.

Sponsored by

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Virginia Foundation for the Humanities logo
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Opening Day Activities

To celebrate the opening of our new exhibition, on Saturday, October 1, the Museum will be offering $5 admission to all guests.

Members’ Preview

Main Lobby · 9 – 11:00AM

Be the first to see our newest exhibition, Polynesian Voyagers! Enjoy breakfast and a special cultural performance prior to the public opening. This is a free Members-only event.

Opening Celebration

11:00AM – 3:00PM

Free with Museum admission

A special opening celebration for the new exhibition will feature foods and cultural performances throughout the day from the indigenous people of Virginia and Polynesia. A variety of speakers and representatives will attend expert panel discussions on Polynesian culture and navigation, including members of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, David Alberg of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Dr. Gabrielle Tayac of the National Museum of the American Indian, and Lee Lockamy of the Nansemond Indian tribe