Roots: A Cultural Celebration

Grades: 2 - 3
Tour length:
1.5 hours
900 S. Beretania Street
Tuesday – Friday
9 + 10:30am
Group Size:
60 maximum
Request this tour: Fall 2015 | Spring 2016

​Help your students prepare for the tour in two ways: Have an interactive discussion about museum etiquette. ​Practice looking at art. Click here for more information.​


What dear traditions, treasures and customs were brought to Hawaiʻi by those immigrating from their homelands? Echoing the mission statement set forth by Honolulu Museum of Art founder Anna Rice Cooke, Roots celebrates the legacy of cultural diversity in Hawaiʻi by studing artwork from – Japan, China, Philippines, Korea, South Asia and the Pacific. Students will work with a bag of familiar contemporary objects and find their "roots" by connecting the objects to major works of art. Each object tells of a deep tradition remembered, honored and respected by many beyond the original country. Students will receive this booklet to use on the tour and to take back to the classroom. 

Artwork on this tour:

Shirley Russell (American, 1886-1985). Banners for Boy’s Day against the blue sky, c. 1935. Oil on canvas. Gift of Charlotte and Henry B. Clarke, Jr., 1995. (7953.1) (pictured above)

Dish (detail). Ming dynasty – Xuande period, 1426 – 1435. China. Porcelain with glaze. Purchase, 1961 (2907.1).


Continue your museum experience back at school! Borrow artifacts related to your tour from the Lending Collection to use in the classroom. The Lending Collection is a free resource for island educators. Pre-packaged object trunks available for some tours, or hand pick objects from the collection for any tour. Contact Beth Pooloa,

Hawaiʻi Department of Education Benchmarks

Fine Arts
FA.2.1.2 Use color to convey mood in works of art
FA.2.1.4 Investigate how art is used in celebrations, festivals, and customs of selected cultures from the past and present
FA.3.1.4 Use visual arts vocabulary to discuss and compare works of art

Social Studies
SS.2.6.1 Describe ways in which own and other cultures express their cultural beliefs and practices through music and art
SS.3.6.1 Explain that different cultures have unique values, beliefs, and practices.
SS.3.6.2 Make informed judgments about cultures based on evidence from cultural artifacts
SS.3.6.3  Explain how cultural elements (e.g., language, art, music, stories, legends, and traditions) can change over time and explain possible reasons for that change

Return to guided school tours.