On this anniversary marking the 200th year of the missionaries’ departure from New England and arrival in Hawai‘i, we acknowledge the pivotal impact the missionaries had on Hawai‘i, its people and what the nation would become. We also recognize how Punahou’s roots are deeply intertwined with that turbulent time.
The story is complex. And it is still being written.
As more Hawaiian-language resources from that era are read and translated, as historical research and current events refine our views on the respective roles of the ali‘i and missionaries, we enrich our understanding of the choices they made to address the massive changes buffeting Hawai‘i.
This exhibit is both a beginning and an invitation. It lays a foundation for more study. It also invites broad-based discussion on how the ali‘i and other Hawaiians, the missionaries and other foreigners contributed to the Hawai‘i we know today.