The California Academy of Sciences Celebrates


May 19 - 21, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO (February 10, 2005) - The California Academy of Sciences invites all visitors to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month from May 19 - 21, 2005 by attending special programs at the Academy. All programs are free with museum admission.

Thursday, May 19 at 6 pm and 8 pm

Through narrative dances, poetry, and song, the Kulintang Dance Theater brings to life the village customs and vibrant regalia of the Southern Philippines. Their dancing styles are varied, from subtle hand gestures to the powerful trance dance of the warrior, and are performed to the complex melodies of bronze gongs. Two performances, at 6 pm and 8 pm, will take place during the Academy's "Third Thursday" event on May 19. General admission is reduced to $5 during "Third Thursdays" events, which take place from 5 - 9 pm on the third Thursday of every month. Free with museum admission. California Academy of Sciences; 875 Howard Street; San Francisco; 94103. (415) 379-8000.

Saturday, May 21 from 10 am - 4 pm

Enjoy a variety of demonstrations and hands-on activities that reflect the traditional arts of several Asian Pacific cultures. All programs continue throughout the day and are free with museum admission. See below for details.

Japanese Origami
Learn about the cultural meaning of this traditional Japanese craft from Vicky Mihara and other master origami artists while folding your own origami figure to take home.

Hawaiian Featherwork
In ancient times, Hawaiians excelled in the artistry of applied featherwork, fashioning capes and helmets (reserved for male chiefs) and leis (worn by royal women). Herman Tachera continues this legacy, creating colorful hatbands and leis from pheasant, peacock, and dyed goose feathers. He is assisted by Mike Vieiera.

Chinese Vegetable Carving
In the hands of Chinese chef and culinary artist Jimmy Zhang, ordinary vegetables and fruits are transformed into edible works of art. Carved in the form of animals, flowers, birds or insects, these miniature sculptures are used as a decorative food garnish or an elaborate table centerpiece.

Polynesian Barkcloth
Textiles made from barkcloth (tapa) are created throughout the Pacific Islands and play an important role in the social life of island people. A prized commodity, tapa can serve as a ritual gift to a person of status or can be made into garments for ceremonial occasions. Tapa-making is an activity reserved for women, and the familiar sound of wooden mallets pounding the raw fibers into cloth can be heard from early morning until sunset throughout the Islands. Two presentations of tapa cloth, from Tonga and from Hawaii, will take place simultaneously, allowing visitors to compare the techniques, tools, and regional motifs of two cultural traditions. Siu Tuita and members of the 'Otufelenite Tongan Community of the Bay Area will demonstrate the process of creating tapa (called ngatu in the Tongan language) using hand-carved wooden beaters. They will be joined by Kaleo DaSa and the Kapa Hui group, who will present the Hawaiian version of tapa (called kapa), made from the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree.


The California Academy of Sciences, the fourth largest natural history museum in the United States, is home to Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Natural History Museum. The Academy is beginning an extensive rebuilding project in Golden Gate Park. Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano is designing the new Academy, which is expected to open in 2008.

# # # #