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Although the Kauai Museum may be small, it’s still packed with a HUGE amount of history. And it’s the perfect example of how an island community has come together in bringing that history to life.
The museum, located in Lihue, is fueled by the pure aloha of volunteer staff. More than 50 years later, and volunteers are still donating their time and energy to serve the museum and its visitors. The retired history teacher who greeted me at the front reconfirmed this, as you could really tell she enjoyed being there – sharing pieces of living history with others.
There’s nothing fancy or sophisticated about the museum. It’s just a quaint island-style facility that strives to preserve all things Hawaii. Because the multitude of cultures is what helped to shape Hawaii’s history, it only makes sense for the museum to be organized in such a way. This makes it very simple to navigate through.
A cultural demo at the museum’s Hawaiian section.
The museum celebrates the past, present and future of Kauai and Niihau. Its mission is to inspire an appreciation in the community for indigenous and immigrant people of those islands. I especially enjoyed seeing the beautiful shell lei made with washed-ashore shells. Nowadays, finding these special shells on the beach aren’t as easy as they used to be, so keeping them in a museum will be very beneficial in preserving this piece of island history.
There’s usually a variety of activities going on every day. I’d recommend allotting at least an hour to tour the museum, but if you need more time, you could always ask for a free pass and visit on another day.
Photos Courtesy: Kauai Museum
KAUAI MUSEUM • 4428 Rice St. Lihue, Hawaii 96766 • Opens Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas • For admission rates, www.kauaimuseum.org or 808-245-6931