Makawao museum exhibit showcases Portuguese life Upcountry 75 years ago

Organizers recreate a family kitchen from decades past

Four Upcountry sisters are pictured at the new Vovo’s Kitchen exhibit at Makawao History Museum. They are Elizabeth Rego (from left), Barbara Silva, Mary Ferreira and Alice Tavares.

Makawao History Museum has a new exhibit, “Vovo’s Kitchen,” based on Alice Tavares’ book “Hub of my Wheel.”

Darrell Orwig, Cherie Attix and Gail Ainsworth made several trips to Tavares’ home, where she opened the doors to items she has collected over the years. They recorded and gathered all the items they thought would fit in the space dedicated to the exhibit. Returning to the museum, they were inspired to recreate Vovo’s kitchen.

Once the exhibit was completed, the museum hosted a reception for the Tavares family on March 2. They gathered in front of the museum and were welcomed by Mary Orwig, president of the board of directors.

The exhibit includes an old pie safe full of dishes and kitchen items, an old sink and Vovo’s kitchen table. Displayed on the table is a replica of Portuguese sweet bread baked in the forno, which can be seen behind the kitchen window. Next to the window and above the table is a painting of “The Last Supper,” which is actually the one that hung in Vovo’s kitchen.

People are encouraged to visit the exhibit and get a taste of Portuguese life in Upcountry Maui around 75 years ago. The exhibit will continue through the summer.

The museum is located at 3642 Baldwin Ave., and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Makawao History Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to recording the history of Upcountry Maui. It is supported by community donations and by the County of Maui Office of Economic Development.