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Kaeppler, Adrienne (1935-2022)

Former Curator of Oceanic Ethnology

Dr. Adrienne Kaeppler with one of the famous pieces from the collection, A  Dance Paddle from Rapa Nui, Easter Island.

 

Dr. Adrienne L. Kaeppler is a research anthropologist and curator for the Pacific Islands in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.  Although she originally studied English Literature and Music at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, she decided to combine these interests with her love of museums and moved to Honolulu to obtain her degrees in Anthropology at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. She has carried out extensive fieldwork in many Pacific Islands, especially Tonga, Hawai`i, and Rapa Nui, and is known for her work on materials collected on the voyages of Captain Cook (in museums around the world), and the United States Exploring Expedition (in the Smithsonian). She is interested in material culture and the intangible knowledge it holds, as well as the role of music, dance, poetry, and the visual arts in reflecting and  constructing social and cultural systems. She is working on several projects associated with barkcloth (textiles made from the inner bark of certain trees,) in museum collections and its present day resurgence as Pacific Art.

 

Positions

Geographic Focus

Background And Education

Education And Training

Professional Biography

  • Dr. Adrienne Kaeppler with one of the famous pieces from the collection, A  Dance Paddle from Rapa Nui, Easter Island.

     

    Dr. Adrienne L. Kaeppler is a research anthropologist and curator for the Pacific Islands in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.  Although she originally studied English Literature and Music at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, she decided to combine these interests with her love of museums and moved to Honolulu to obtain her degrees in Anthropology at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. She has carried out extensive fieldwork in many Pacific Islands, especially Tonga, Hawai`i, and Rapa Nui, and is known for her work on materials collected on the voyages of Captain Cook (in museums around the world), and the United States Exploring Expedition (in the Smithsonian). She is interested in material culture and the intangible knowledge it holds, as well as the role of music, dance, poetry, and the visual arts in reflecting and  constructing social and cultural systems. She is working on several projects associated with barkcloth (textiles made from the inner bark of certain trees,) in museum collections and its present day resurgence as Pacific Art.

     

Awards And Honors

Public Biography

  • Dr. Adrienne Kaeppler with one of the famous pieces from the collection, A  Dance Paddle from Rapa Nui, Easter Island.

     

    Dr. Adrienne L. Kaeppler is a research anthropologist and curator for the Pacific Islands in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.  Although she originally studied English Literature and Music at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, she decided to combine these interests with her love of museums and moved to Honolulu to obtain her degrees in Anthropology at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. She has carried out extensive fieldwork in many Pacific Islands, especially Tonga, Hawai`i, and Rapa Nui, and is known for her work on materials collected on the voyages of Captain Cook (in museums around the world), and the United States Exploring Expedition (in the Smithsonian). She is interested in material culture and the intangible knowledge it holds, as well as the role of music, dance, poetry, and the visual arts in reflecting and  constructing social and cultural systems. She is working on several projects associated with barkcloth (textiles made from the inner bark of certain trees,) in museum collections and its present day resurgence as Pacific Art.

     

Research And Grants

Publications

Selected Publications

  • Article

    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. and Van Tilburg, Jo Anne. 2020. "Carved Komari (vulva) Stones from Rapa Nui: Museum Objects, Legacy Data, and Contemporary Local History.." The Journal of the Polynesian Society 129 (4):383-406. https://doi.org/10.15286/jps.129.4.383-406 2020
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2020. "Early photographers encounter Tongans." Journal of New Zealand & Pacific Studies 8 (2):209-226. https://doi.org/10.1386/nzps_00038_1 2020
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2020. "Living with Tapa and the Social Life of Ritual Objects." in Material Approaches to Polynesian Barkcloth, edited by Lennard, Frances and Mills, Andy., 133-140. Sidestone Press. 2020
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2020. "The Berne Feather Cloak from Cook's Third Voyage." in Exotic Switzerland? Looking Outward in the Age of Enlightenment, edited by Étienne, Noémie, Brizon, Claire, Lee, Chonja, and Wismer, Étienne., 232-233. Diaphanes. 2020
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2019. "Notation, Texts, Translations and Interpretations." in Songs and Poems of Queen Salote. [updated reprint],, edited by Wood-Ellem, Elizabeth., 342-397. Vava`u Press. 2019
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2019. "Tabu and Mana and Their Interpretations From Cook and His Artists to the World." in Proceedings of the 34th World Congress of Art History, edited by Dazhen, Shao, Di'an, Fan, and LaoZhu, T., 881-889. The Commercial Press. 2019
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2018. "Fijian Art From the US Exploring Expedition." Journal of Museum Ethnography Number 31:168-186. 2018
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2017. "Introduction to the Smithsonian Barkcloth Project; and Tangible and Intangible Knowledge Embedded in Tahitian Ahu and Hawaiian Kapa." in Tapa: de l'écorce à l'étoffe, art millénaire d'Océanie : de l'Asie du Sud-Est à la Polynésie orientale = Tapa: from tree bark to cloth : an ancient art of Oceania : from Southeast Asia to Eastern Polynesia, edited by Charleux, Michel, Neumann, Nicolas, Balmelle, Véronique, and Robert, Clarisse., 414-421. Somogy Art Publishers Tahiti, [French Polynesia] Tapa Association. 2017
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2017. "John Lafarge, A contemporary artist in Samoa, 1890-1891." Pacific Arts NS Vol. 16 (2):20-30. 2017
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2017. "Tangible Objects, Intangible Knowledge. Barkcloth as Cultural Expression in Oceania." in TAPA: From Tree Bark to Cloth: An Ancient Art of Oceania. From Southeast Asia to Eastern Polynesia, edited by Charleux, Michel., 16-20. Somogy. 2017
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2016. "Rapa Nui Rising." in Sustaining Heritage & Creativity: Reflections on Forty Years of the Festival of Pacific Arts, edited by Stevenson, Karen and Teaiwa, Katerina., 165-181. University of the South Pacific. 2016
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2015. "Hawaiian Featherwork in the Age of Exploration." in Royal Hawaiian Featherwork, Na Hulu Ali`i, edited by Caldiera, Leah, Hellmich, Christina, Kaeppler, Adrienne L., Kam, Betty Lou, and Rose, Roger ., 40-57. University of Hawai`i Press. 2015
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2015. "Lost Objects, Questionable Localities, and other Cook Voyage Enigmas." Pacific Arts NS 14 (1-2):78-84. 2015
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2015. "Two Hawaiian Dancers and Their Daughters." The Journal of the Polynesian Society 124 (2):189-207. https://doi.org/10.15286/jps.124.2.189-207 2015
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2015. "`Ahu`ula in the shape of a trapezoid." in Royal Hawaiian Featherwork, Na Hulu Ali`i, edited by Caldiera, Leah, Hellmich, Christina, Kaeppler, Adrienne L., Kam, Betty Lou, and Rose, Roger ., 38-39. University of Hawai`i Press. 2015
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2014. "Recycling Tradition in the Arts of Polynesia." in Repositioning Pacific arts : artists, objects, histories : proceedings of the VII International Symposium of the Pacific Arts Association, Christchurch, New Zealand, edited by Allen, Anne E. and Waite, Deborah B., 5-16. Sean Kingston. 2014
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2014. "Sister Malia Tu`ifua: Descendant of Chiefs, Daughter of God." Journal of the Polynesian Society 123 (2):169-184. 2014
    • Austin-Dennehy, Michele and Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2014. "Smithsonian Collections." in Curating Biocultural Collections. A Handbook, edited by Salick, Jan, Konchar, Katie, and Nesbitt, Mark., 22-25. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2014
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2014. "The Edinburgh Hawaiian Feathered Cloak and Museum Guessalogs." The Hawaiian Journal of History 48::171-174. 2014
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2013. "Music and Dance as Export and Import: A case study of Japan in Europe and Hawai`i in Japan." Yearbook for Traditional Music 45:214-230. 2013
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2013. "Power, Prayer and Plumage." HALI (175): 90-99. 2013
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2011. "Tau`a`alo: Paddling Songs as Cultural Metaphor." in Austronesian Soundscapes: Performing Arts in Oceania and Southeast Asia, edited by Abels, Birgit., 223-240. Amsterdam University Press. 2011
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2011. "The Hands and Arms tell the Story: Movement Through Time in Eighteenth-Century Dance Depictions from Polynesia." in Imaging Dance. Visual Representations of Dancers and Dancing, edited by Sparti, Barbara, Van Zile, Judy, Dunin, Elsie I., Heller, Nancy G., and Kaeppler, Adrienne L., 87-102. Georg Olms Verlag. 2011
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2010. "Interpreting Ritual as Performance and Theory." Oceania 80 (3):263-271. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1834-4461.2010.tb00085.x 2010
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2010. "The Beholder's Share: Viewing Music and Dance in a Globalized World." Ethnomusicology 54 (2):185-201. 2010
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2008. "Dance." in The International Encyclopedia of Communication, Volume III., 1165-1166. Wiley-Blackwell. 2008
    • Van Tilburg, Jo Anne, Kaeppler, Adrienne L., Weisler, Marshall, Cristino, Claudio, and Spitzer, Angela. 2008. "Petrographic Analysis of Thin-Sections of Samples from Two Monolithic Statues (Moai), Rapa Nui (Easter Island)." Journal of the Polynesian Society 117 (3):297-300. 2008
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2008. "Preface and Hawaiian Ethnography and the Study of Hawaiian Collections." in Old Hawai`i: An Ethnography of Hawai`i in the 1880s Based on the Research and Collections of Eduard Arning in the Museum Für Volkerkunde, Berlin, edited by Kaeppler, Adrienne L., Schindelbeck, M., and Speidel, G. E., 32-42. Ethnologisches Museum. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. 2008
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2007. "Ballet, Hula, and "Cats": Dance as a Discourse on Blobalization." in Dialogues in Dance Discourse: Creating Dance in Asia Pacific, edited by Mohd Anis, Md Nor., 1-14. University of Malaya. 2007
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2007. "Containers of Divinity." Journal of the Polynesian Society 116 (2):97-130. 2007
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2007. "Method and Theory and Analyzing Dance Structure With an Analysis of Tongan Dance." in Dance Structures. Perspectives on the analysis of Human Movement, edited by Kaeppler, Adrienne L. and Dunin, Elsie Ivanchich ., 53-102. Akademiai Kaido. Hungarian Academy of Sciences. 2007
  • Book

    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. and Van Tilburg, Jo Anne. 2018. The Iconic Tattooed Man of Easter Island, an Illustrated Life. Mana Press. 2018
    • Her Majesty Queen Nanasipau, Kaeppler, Adrienne L., and Fonua, Mary Lyn. 2015. Tonga's Royal Family. Photographs from Royal Collections. Coronation Edition. Vava`u Press. 2015
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2012. Lakalaka: A Tongan Masterpiece of Performing Arts. Vava`u Press. 2012
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2011. Holophusicon. The Leverian Museum An Eighteenth-century English Institution of Science, Curiosity, and Art. Musuem Fur Volkerkunde. 2011
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2010. Hawaiian featherwork. Sanctity and Danger: Divine and Chiefly Featherwork of Old Hawai`i.. Nationalgalerie Staatliche Museem zu Berlin. 2010
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2010. Polynesia : the Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection of Polynesian Art. University of Hawaii Press. 2010
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2008. The Pacific Arts of Polynesia and Micronesia. Oxford University Press. 2008
  • Chapter

    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2020. "Barkcloth Collections in the Smithsonian Institution." in Material Approaches to Polynesian Barkcloth, edited by Lennard, Frances and Mills, Andy., 251-260. Sidestone Press. 2020
    • Austen-Dennehy, Michele, Mason, Jean Chapman, and Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2020. "Breadfruit Tapa: Not Always Second Best." in Material Approaches to Polynesian Barkcloth, edited by Lennard, Frances and Mills, Andy., 61-69. Sidestone Press. 2020
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2020. "West Polynesian Dyes and Decorations." in Material Approaches to Polynesian Barkcloth, edited by Lennard, Frances and Mills, Andy., 145-155. Sidestone Press. 2020
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2019. "A Kato Mosi Kaka and other Treasures from Tonga from the US Exploring Expedition.." in Collecting and Provenance: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach, edited by Milosch, Jane and Pearce, Nick., 257-268. Rowman & Littlefield. 2019
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2019. "Queen Salote’s Poetry as Works of Art, History, Politics, and Culture.." in Songs and Poems of Queen Salote. [updated reprint],, edited by Wood-Ellem, Elizabeth., 26-65. Vava`u Press. 2019
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2019. "Tongan Brass Bands: An Expanding Tradition.." in Brass Bands in the Pacific issue of the World of Music, (New Series), edited by Bendrups, Daniel., 39-56. Verlag fur Wissenschaft und Bildung. 2019
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2017. "Capturing Music and Dance in an Archive: A Meditation on Imprisonment." in A Distinctive Voice in the Antipodes. Essays in Honour of Stephen A. Wild, edited by Gillespie, Kirsty, Treloyn, Sally, and Niles, Don., 429-442. Australian National University. 2017
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2017. "Tongan Dance. Concepts, Genres, and Movements." in World Music: A Global Journey, edited by Miller, Terry., 70-75. Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group.. 2017
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2017. "Tongan Dance: Poetry in Motion." in Asia Pacific Dance Festival. Beyond Borders, 21-25. University of Hawai`i, East West Center. 2017
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2017. "Two Tongan Dance Forms in Modern Contexts." in Dance, Senses, Urban Contexts. 29th Symposium of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) Study Group on Ethnochoreology, edited by Stepputat, Kendra., 165-172. Institute of Ethnomusicology, University of Music and Performing Arts. 2017
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2016. "Culture, Conservation and Creativity: Two Centuries of Polynesian Barkcloth." in Made in Oceania: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Social and Cultural Meanings and Presentation of Oceanic Tapa., edited by Peter Mesenthaler and Stauffer, Annemarie., 2-14. Cambridge Scholars Publishing Ltd. 2016
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2016. "Objectifying Pele as Performance, Material Culture, and Cultural Landscape." In Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts. Arnoldi, Mary Jo, editor. 91–103. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. 2016
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2015. "From the South Seas to the World (via London)." in Cook-Voyage Collections of "Artificial Curiosities" in Britain and Ireland, 1771-2015, edited by Coote, Jeremy., 256-298. Museum Ethnographers Group. 2015
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2015. "Gifting, Trading, Selling, Buying: Following Northwest Coast Treasures Acquired on Cook's Third Voyage to Collections Around the World." in Arctic Ambitions: Captain Cook and the Northwest Passage, edited by Barnett, James K., Nicandri, David L., and Inglis, Robin., 170-189. University of Washington Press. 2015
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2014. "Eduard Arning: Ethnographic Photographer of Hawai`i." in A Glimpse into Paradise/Blick ins Paradies Historical Photographs of Polynesia., edited by Fuchs, Marisol, Grimme, Gesa, and Kokott, Jeanette., 86-99. Museum für Völkerkunde. 2014
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2014. "From Hawaiian temples and chiefly courts to festival stages in Japan." in Dance, Place, Festival: 27th Symposium of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) Study Group on Ethnochoreology 2012, edited by Fimom, Elsie Ivancich and Foley, Catherine E., 90-93. The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. 2014
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2013. "Chanting Grief, Dancing Memories: Objectifying Hawaiian Laments." in One Common Thread: The Musical World of Laments, edited by Wild, Stephen, Roy, Di, Corn, Aaron, and Martin, Ruth Lee., 71-81. Australian National University, Humanities Research Centre. 2013
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2013. "New observations on Nukuoro wood sculptures: Lost, found, dormant and dubious." in Nukuoro Sculptures from Micronesia, edited by Kaufmann, Christian and Wick, Oliver., 152-165. Beyeler Museum and Hirmer. 2013
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2012. "Dynamic Dialogues: Writing Dance as Tradition, Contemporanity, and Fusion." in Dancing Mosaic: Issues on Dance Hybridity, edited by Nor, Anis., 17-26. University of Malaysia. 2012
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2012. "Playing with fire: contemporizing Pele, the volcano goddess." in Dance, Gender and Meanings and Contemporizing Traditional Dance., edited by Dunin, Elsie Ivancich, Stavelova, Daniela, Gremlicova, Dorota, and Vejvoda, Zdenek., 132-138. Institute of Ethnology of the Academy of Sciences. 2012
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2012. "Ritual, theatre, and spectacle: exploring the rituals of Saint George's Day." in From field to text & dance and space, edited by Dunin, Elsie Ivancich, Giurchesca, Anca, and Konczei, Csilla., 139-142. The Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities. 2012
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2012. "Una introducción a la estėtica de la danza." in Cuerpos En Movimiento.Antropologia de y desde las danzas, edited by Citro, Silvia and Aschieri, Patricia., 65-73. Editorial Biblos. 2012
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2011. "The Contributions of Tupou II to Tongan Art and Society." in Tonga -- Land, Sea and People, edited by Steen, Tangikina Moimoi and Drescher, Nancy L., 68-77. Tonga Research Association. 2011
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2010. "An Introduction to the Dress of the Pacific Islands." in Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, edited by Eicher, Joanne B., Ross, Doran H., and Maynard, Margaret., 367-374. Oxford University Press. 2010
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2009. ""To Attempt Some New Discoveries in that Vast Unknown Tract", Rediscovering the Forster collections from Cook's second Pacific voyage." in Discovering Cook's Collections, edited by Hetherington, Michelle and Morphy, Howard., 58-77. National Museum of Australia. 2009
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2009. "El arte Rapa Nui en el contexto de Polinesia y Oceania [Rapa Nui art in its contexts of Polynesia and Oceania]." in Kuhane Rapa Nui en las Islas del Pacifico, 14-19. Museo Nacional de Historia Natural. 2009
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2009. "Enlightened Encounters in the Unknown Pacific." in James Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific, 88-92. Thames and Hudson. 2009
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2009. "Enlightened Ethnographic Collections." in James Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific, 55-60. Thames and Hudson. 2009
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2009. "Lakalaka and Mak Yong: A Story of two Masterpieces (Keynote)." in Proceedings of the 25th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology., 1-7. University of Malaya. 2009
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2009. "Object entries, numbering 115." in James Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific, 143-265. Thames and Hudson. 2009
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2009. "Preface, Captain Cook's Three Voyages of Enlightenment." in James Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific, 8, 18-23. Thames & Hudson. 2009
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2009. "Two Unusual Wooden Figures from the Marquesas Islands." in Form, Macht, Differenz. Motive and Felder ethnologischen Forschens, edited by Hermann, Elfriede, Klenke, Karin, and Dickhardt, Michael., 141-148. Universitatsverlag Gottingen. 2009
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2008. "One Plus One Equals three [or More]: Dance Diversity as Intercultural Dialogues in the Pacific Islands." in Dance. Transcending Borders, edited by Sarkar-Munsi, Urmimala., 101-115. Tulika books. 2008
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2007. "Heliaki, Metaphor, and Allusion: the art and aesthetics of Koe `Otua mo Tonga ko Hoku Tofi`a." in Tonga and the Tongans, edited by Elizabeth, Wood., 65-74. Tongan History Association. 2007
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2007. "Me`a lalanga and the Category Koloa: Intertwinging Value and History in Tonga." in Vastly Ingenious. The Archaeology of Pacific Material Culture, in Honour of Janet M. Davidson, edited by Atholl, Anderson, Kaye, Green, and Foss, Leach., 145-154. Otago University Press. 2007
  • Webpage

Editor Of

  • Book

    • Caldiera, Leah, Hellmich, Christina, Kaeppler, Adrienne L., Kam, Betty Lou, and Rose, Roger . , eds. 2015. Royal Hawaiian Featherwork, Nā Hulu Ali`i. University of Hawai`i Press. 2015
    • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. and Dunin, Elsie Ivanchich . , eds. 2007. Dance Structures. Perspectives on the analysis of Human Movement. Akedemiai Kiado. Hungarian Academy of Sciences. 2007

Activities

Responsible Collections Areas

  • Pacific Islands Ethnology and Archaeology

Outreach Overview

  • Working with Pacific Islanders on their visual and performing arts in the past and present

Teaching Overview

  • Teaching at various Universities, including  School of Art and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India; University of Maryland, College Park; UCLA; Johns Hopkins University; The Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland; and the University of Hawai`i.

Affiliation

Contact

Location