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A true living treasure


Patrick V. Kirch has garnered many honors in his lifetime as an archaeologist, but his most recent may have topped them all. The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa anthropology professor will be one of three honorees at the 47th annual Living Treasures of Hawaiʻi virtual event on Sunday, May 22. The award recognizes Kirch for his significant contributions to the field of Polynesian archaeology and its positive impact on the quality of life in the local community.

“Among the awards that I have received over the course of my career, being named a ‘Living Treasure of Hawaiʻi’ is especially meaningful to me because it comes from the community where I was born and grew up,” said Kirch. “I have always tried to share the results of my research with the people of Hawaiʻi, and this recognition tells me that I have been at least partly successful in those efforts. I would like to extend my own mahalo nui loa to all those who over the years have shared their manaʻo and who have in countless ways aided and assisted me in my work. Without them, whatever I have achieved would not have been possible.”

Living Treasures of Hawaiʻi was established in 1976 by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaiʻi. It honors those unique to the islands who demonstrate excellent and high standards of achievement in their particular fields and continue to make significant contributions toward enriching our society.

Initially established to honor those involved in the perpetuation of the island’s distinctive cultural and artistic heritage, the recognition has since been expanded to include contributions by individuals in all areas of endeavor.

In addition to Kirch, 2022 honorees include taiko artist Kenny Endo and Kealiʻi Reichel, kumu hula, musician and recording artist. The May 22 event will be broadcast at 6 p.m. on KHNL and livestreamed on the Hawaiʻi News Now Facebook page. It will also air at 7 p.m. on May 26 on KFVE.