Upon entering, guests are greeted with a recording of the Oli Kāhea and Oli Komo, a cultural protocol used to ask for permission when approaching Kaho‘olawe. The first steps into the exhibit brings guests to a 360-degree representation of Pu‘u Moa‘ulaiki, a hilltop used to train navigators with panoramic views of major ocean currents, neighbor islands, and constellations. From this vantage point, many describe Kanaloa’s kinolau (physical manifestation) of the he‘e (squid, octopus) – eight tentacles stretch out through the ocean channels and islands of Hawai‘i while the head of the octopus lies at Moa‘ulaiki.
The exhibit’s chronological storyline consists of chapters that introduce the island’s geography, pre-contact settlements, ten of the island’s major wahi pana, the history between the U.S. and Native Hawaiian relations, cultural significance and role in today’s perpetuation of Hawaiian culture, and the hope for the future of Kaho‘olawe. The exhibit features archival photography, historical newspaper clippings, an interactive exhibit of the island, and a coastal cliff with key Hawaiian marine species.
Through this storyline, guests can see both the hurt mankind has caused and the attempts to heal the island environmentally, culturally, and spiritually. With the goal of creating further awareness of the culture, geography, history, and restoration of the island, the exhibit evokes the power and capacity to effect change and hope for the future of Kaho‘olawe.
About Maui Ocean Center
Encounter Hawaiian marine life at Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawai‘i. Named among the “Top 10 Aquariums in the World” by TripAdvisor, Maui Ocean Center is home to the world’s largest display of live Hawaiian corals and exhibits featuring sharks, stingrays, turtles, and endemic marine life found nowhere in the world. The new Humpbacks of Hawai‘i Exhibit & Sphere is the first of its kind, bringing guests eye-to-eye with life-sized humpback whales in a virtual, 3D encounter. The Aquarium offers 20+ daily presentations, tours, and cultural activities as well as ocean-view dining at Seascape Restaurant, shopping at Maui Ocean Treasures, and Shark Dive Maui® in the Open Ocean exhibit. Open 9am-5pm (final admission at 4:30pm) daily. Maui Ocean Center is part of the global family of Coral World International.
E hi‘i a maopopo ka ho‘oha‘oha‘o ana a me ka ho‘ihi no ka Hawai‘i ola ma ke kai.
The mission of Maui Ocean Center is to foster understanding, wonder and respect for Hawai‘i’s marine life. Maui Ocean Center was inducted into the “Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame 2015” by TripAdvisor, is a “Top-Rated Attraction in Hawai‘i” by Zagat Survey US Family Travel Guide, and recognized “for commitment to sustainability and an adventure that is nature and culture-based” by the Hawai‘i Ecotourism Association.