Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum:

Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum announces a new, original exhibition that will explore the hidden history and contemporary meaning of what may be the world’s only public monument celebrating gender fluidity – The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu.

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi — Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum announces a new, original exhibition coming to its Castle Memorial Building in June: The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu. The exhibition emerged from the research behind an Oscar-contending short film, Kapaemahu, that brought the unexpurgated legend to life.

The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu will explore the history and contemporary meanings of four large pōhaku (stones) on Waikīkī Beach. These pōhaku were placed long ago as a tribute to four māhū, people of dual male and female spirit, who brought healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaiʻi. Although the stones have survived for centuries, the story behind them has been suppressed and the respected role of māhū erased. Using immersive media and innovative storytelling approaches, the exhibition revitalizes this traditional story to help restore this sacred site as a permanent reminder of Hawaiʻi’s history of inclusion and acceptance.

“This exhibition presents our Hawaiian view of gender duality as a natural aspect of the human experience,” said Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, a curator of the exhibition who herself identifies as māhū. “It brings knowledge and wisdom of the past into the present-day conversation.” The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu will be a multifaceted exhibition that combines film, art, archival documents and images, storytelling, and other interactive elements, sharing that for Hawaiian history and culture to be understood and appreciated, it must be seen from a Hawaiian perspective. In the case of Kapaemahu, this perspective centers gender duality, erased from a beloved moʻolelo (story) over time by foreign influences, as a natural and respected aspect of the human experience and a central element of the science of healing.

In presenting the original moʻolelo, and examining the ways in which it, and the monument erected to honor its heroes, were altered in the 20th century, the exhibition also challenges visitors to ponder how other aspects of Hawaiian history and culture might have been suppressed, changed, or lost. More importantly, visitors will understand that these aspects of Hawaiian culture now have the opportunity to be restored and elevated.

On View June 18 – October 15, 2022
Museum Hours: Open Daily 9 am – 5 pm
Ages: All Ages
Location: Castle Memorial Building

Media Preview Opportunity on Thursday, June 16, 2022
Bishop Museum invites members of the media to attend an exclusive, pre-opening, closed-door Media Preview of The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu:
Thursday, June 16, 2022
1-4 p.m. HST
Bishop Museum, Castle Memorial Center

Details at: