Ululani Special Feature

Lāhui Rising Series

This educational series is designed to create a safe, respectful and enriching learning space for all audiences to hear and honor various perspectives on matters of Hawaiian interest.

Hawaiʻi Honors the Life of Queen Liliʻuokalani

Author: 
HOʻOKAHUA CULTURAL VIBRANCY STAFF
Month: 
09
Year: 
2014

We are quickly moving into September which is a great time to learn about Liliʻuokalani. Tuesday, September 2, 2014 marks 176 years since her birth.

 

Although Queen Liliʻuokalani’s reign was cut short in 1893 by the overthrow of the Hawaiian government. She remains an enduring symbol of hope for her people.

 

Born Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamakaʻeha to parents Caesar Kapaʻakea and Analeʻa Keohokālole, she was given to Abner Pākī and Laura Konia to raise as their hānai (adopted) daughter. Liliʻu ascended to the throne in 1891, following the reign of her brother, King David Kalākaua.

As a beloved queen and last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom, her reign was cut short by the overthrow of the Hawaiian government in 1893. Forced to endure hardships and deceitful accusations, Liliʻu was deposed as queen, charged with crimes, and imprisoned by the provisional government.

 

“Mai Poina: The Overthrow,” is a walking tour that illustrates the days leading up to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy.

 

She maintained a personal directive of peaceful resistance, believing in God, and trusting that the political process would return the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom. To this day, Liliʻu remains an enduring symbol of hope for her people.

Below is a short passage from Liliʻu’s book, “Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen.” She displays the strength, compassion, and dignity befitting of her position as Mōʻī Wahine (queen).

But for the Hawaiian people, for the forty thousand of my own race and blood, descendants of those who welcomed the devoted and pious missionaries of seventy years ago, – for them has this mission of mine accomplished anything?

It is for them that I would give the last drop of my blood; it is for them that I would spend, nay, am spending, everything belonging to me. Will it be in vain? It is for the American people and their representatives in Congress to answer these questions. As they deal with me and my people, kindly, generously, and justly, so may the Great Ruler of all nations deal with the grand and glorious nation of the United States of America.

On December 18, 1893, some eleven months after the illegal overthrow of Hawaiʻi’s government, U.S. President Grover Cleveland sends a message to the U.S. Congress regarding the situation in Hawaiʻi. An excerpt from his remarks reads as follows:

I suppose that right and justice should determine the path to be followed in treating this subject. If national honesty is to be disregarded and a desire for territorial extension, or dissatisfaction with a form of government not our own, ought to regulate our conduct, I have entirely misapprehended the mission and character of our Government and the behavior which the conscience of our people demands of their public servants.

 


KS is a member of the Hawai‘i Pono‘ī Coalition, sponsor of the walking tours. Above KS staffers Marsha Bolson and Pi'ilani Hanohano greet guests.