On March 17, 1768 a baby girl was born in a cave on Hana, Maui to Chiefess Namahana of Maui and Chief Ke’eaumoku of Hawai’i Island. Her name was Ka’ahumanu. Priveleged as the favorite wife of King Kamehameha 1 at the young age of 13 years, she created the office of Kuhina Nui or Co-ruler upon the death of her husband. In this role, she moved from influence to power.
As Hawai’i’s first female and longest reigning monarch of 50 years, Queen Ka’ahumanu created changes that continue to impact our lives even until today. By sitting down to eat with King Liholiho, she broke the Ai Kapu law forbidding men and women from eating together. She also abolished the traditional kapu system. She had schools built and made books available to the Maka’ainana.
In 1819, Queen Ka’ahumanu saw the arrival of the Protestant Missionaries. Thereby making her among the first ali’i to convert to Christianity in 1820. She took the name Elisabeth at her baptism. On June 5, 1832, she was laid to rest on the grounds of I’olani Palace but later moved to the Royal Mausoleum.
On March 16, 2018, the ladies of ‘Ahahui Ka’ahumanu, Chapter IV, Wailuku will be celebrating the 250th birthday of our Queen. In perpetuating her legacy, they are having a coloring/essay contest for Maui’s keiki to bring awareness to her contributions. All entries will be displayed throughout the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center during the week of March 11-18, 2018. A monetary prize will be awarded to a winner from each category.
Contact Carol Lee Kamekona, Pelekikena, ‘Ahahui Ka’ahumanu, 808-264-9385