Event: VIRTUAL PIZZA TALK: Community-based Practice in Cultural Heritage Conservation: The Kamehameha I Sculpture of Hawai’i

Date & Time

February 10, 2021 - 12:00pm
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Contact Information

Sumiji Takahashi



Event Type

Pizza Talk

Event Details

Dr. Glenn Wharton
Lore and Gerald Cunard Chair, UCLA/Getty Program in the
Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA
Wednesday February 10th, 12:00pm (PT)

The community-based conservation of the Kamehameha I sculpture on the island of Hawai’i shows howlocal residents can engage in negotiating the meaning of cultural heritage and affect how their past is represented. Professor Wharton will discuss his three-year collaboration with residents in a semi-rural Hawaiian community to research the material and social history of the sculpture, leading to a community decision about how to conserve it. The Kamehameha I sculpture was commissioned in 1878 to commemorate Captain Cook’s “discovery” of the Hawaiian Islands and promote a western style monarchy. Modeled in the image of a Roman emperor while wearing highly symbolic feathered garments, the figure has come to function as a spiritual, economic, educational, cultural, and political object. The participatory project aimed not only to conserve the painted brass sculpture, but also to enable a process of local control over narratives of the Native Hawaiian past. Wharton's ethnographic research reveals tensions that exist within the multicultural, post-plantation community, as local residents voiced notions of what it means to be Hawaiian and what stories should be told about the Native Hawaiian past.

Register for this Cotsen Virtual Pizza Talk here! You will receive instructions on viewing the talk after registering.