The first in a lecture series about food, its contexts and histories. Dr Kaori O’Connor will explore Hawaiian feasts and mariners in the Pacific.
Journals of maritime exploration are full of food – worries about supplies, the endless quest for fresh provisions and finally the joy – and sometimes horror – of feasting on native food when ashore. Among the most famous of these culinary encounters are the Pacific banquets of roast pig and tropical fruits, described by mariners like Cook and Vancouver, surviving today in the feast known as the Hawaiian luau. The mainstay of the modern tourist experience, the luau began as a sacred feast, surrounded by taboos and rituals, reserved for chiefs, priests and the gods. In this talk, anthropologist Kaori O’Connor tells the story of how the luau developed into the cosmopolitan repast of today.
Dr Kaori O’Connor is an anthropologist and historian specialising in food and material culture. She is the author of several books including histories of the Pineapple and of Seaweed, a frequent media commentator, and is based at University College London (UCL).
Four new galleries
Opening September 2018
This lecture series is part of the season celebrating the opening of four new galleries: Pacific Encounters, Tudor and Stuart Seafarers, Polar Worlds, and Sea Things.