Maritime Lecture Series: Sailing to an Island Feast

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Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
20 September | 11am - 12.30pm
Adult: £8 | Members: £6
National Maritime Museum, Lecture Theatre
Talks & courses

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).

Maritime Lecture Series

This lecture series is themed around food, its contexts and histories, and will tie in with the exciting launch of the National Maritime Museum’s four new galleries. Speakers include Dr Kaori O’Connor on Hawaiian feasts and mariners in the Pacific and Marc Meltonville on how Tudor seafaring changed the British dining table. Find out more about our four new galleries.

27 September: John Wright - The Edible Seashore

4 October: Kari Herbert - Living in the Arctic

11 October: Marc Meltonville - Putting the World on your Plate

18 October: Janet Macdonald - Feeding the Georgian Navy