Some of Waiʻanaeʻs History

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Waiʻanae is mentioned in the epic of Pele and Hiʻiaka as well as the name chants dedicated to Kūaliʻi and Moʻikeha. Prior to the 13th century, Oʻahu had been divided into three kingdoms: ʻEwa (which included Waiʻanae, Kūkaniloko and the ʻEwa plains), Kona and Koʻolaupoko. Around that time, a chief from Waiʻanae, Kumuhonua, became the nominal ruler of all Oʻahu but his kingdom collapsed after his passing. Two hundred years later in the early 15th century, Kumuhonuaʻs descendant, Laʻakona re-united Oʻahu. He, too, was from Waiʻanae. He made the capital of his kingdom in Līhuʻe, Oʻahu. Līhuʻe on Oʻahu is located where Schofield Barracks is today and near the Kūkaniloko complex. The most prized warriors of Oʻahu normally came from Waiʻanae and ʻEwa because it is said that the arid rugged terrain produced people who knew how to handle hardship unlike the people on the Windward side where life seemed easier. Queen Kalanimanuia of Oʻahu, sometimes known as the Red Queen because of her kahili and feather regalia, caused to be built extensive loʻi, ditches and ponds in Waiʻanae to augment the water supply and agriculture production. 

Upon her death, her sons caused Oʻahu into turmoil and shattered the peace Oʻahu had known for three generations. Napūlānahumahiki, a grandson of Kalanimanuia, proclaimed Waiʻanae independence. His sister, Kaea-a-Kalona, inherited the Waiʻanae Kingdom and married her cousin and the other main rival heir, Kākuihihewa of Kona (Oʻahu). Together Oʻahu was re-united through their union and through shrewdly utilizing the Aha ʻUla, the chiefly council. The reign of Kākuihihewa reign was a golden age of Oʻahu and the population dramatically increased–by some estimates three-fold within 40 years. As Waiʻanae was known for its warriors and itʻs claim to independence, the senior and presumptive heir to the throne of Oʻahu was then given the Lordship of Waiʻanae, ʻEwa and Līhuʻe, sort of like the title of “Prince of Wales”. This gave a presumptive heir experience in governance but also to guard Oʻahu against Kauaʻi and to ensure the loyalty of the people of the Leeward coast. But to ensure the loyalty of the peoples of the Windward coast, Kākuihihewa moved the court to Kona (Oʻahu) to his former capital. This arrangement seemed to have pleased most of the chiefs. The Kākuihihewa and Kaea-a-Kalona line produced two great Oʻahu kings–Kūaliʻi and Peleiōholani. Peleiōholani spent a lot of his time in Waiʻanae due to his wars against Kauaʻi. Peleiōholani was the first Oʻahu king to use the title of “Mōʻī”, a title previously only used by Mauiʻs kings. He also used the titles “Lord of all southern Kauaʻi, Conqueror of Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi”. Unfortunately, Peleiōholaniʻs son, Kumuhana, proved to be an awful ruler and he was deposed by the Aha ʻUla (the chiefly council) and was exiled to Kauaʻi. The Aha ʻUla then elected Kumuhanaʻs nephew, Kahahana. In 1783, Kahekili II overthrew Kahahana and became mōʻī of Oʻahu and Peleiōholaniʻs lands of southern Kauaʻi. Kahekili II then married off one of his kin to the Queen of Kauaʻi and thus Kauaʻi became a tributary of Maui. Maui thus had control of all islands except the Big Island of Hawaiʻi and 1783 marked the end of Oʻahuʻs independent kingdom–a three hundred year old kingdom that in many ways originated in the lands of ʻEwa and Waiʻanae.

Princess Kaʻiulani and Voting Rights

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Princess Kaʻiulani hosting a dinner in 1899 for the Newlands Resolution Hawaiian Commission which included Sanford B. Dole (former president of the Republic of Hawaiʻi and appointed Governor of the Territory of Hawaiʻʻi, R), Senators Shelby M. Cullom (R-Illinois) and John T. Morgan (D-Alabama), Representative Robert R. Hitt (R-Illinois) and former Hawaii Chief Justice and Walter F. Frear (R-HawaiiTerritory). Princess Kaʻiulani lobbied the Commission to grant US citizenship and US voting rights to Native Hawaiians because at the time, there was a debate in the US Congress whether or be placed in the same category as Native Americans (Native Americans were not considered US citizens at the time and therefore had no rights outside of the reservation). Princess Kaʻiulani fought hard for Native Hawaiians to have voting rights under the new Territory of Hawaiʻi.

Alcoholism and itʻs Devastation on Native Hawaiians

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Alcoholism was one of the most destructive forces among Hawaiians including the ali’i. Western alcohol was particularly destructive because Polynesians (as well as most Pacific Islander and Native American peoples) did not have the certain genetic variations which produce the alcohol dehydrogenase enzymes that breaks down alcohol. In other words, Hawaiians had no tolerance for alcohol which made it that much more destructive and that much more addicting. 

Hawaiian rulers as early as Kamehameha I tried a variety of measures to curb alcohol but were mainly unsuccessful. Some of the monarchs–three in particular–themselves were known to be alcoholics and at times that affected their decision making. A lot of non-Hawaiians knew this because of their experience with Native Americans. During the time of Kamehameha I, chiefs were sometimes paid by merchants in gin and wine for food, supplies and women despite the fact that Kamehameha I made it illegal at some point for a chief to accept alcohol as a form of payment. Kamehameha I actually ended up giving up on making alcohol illegal and focused on means to controlling it’s flow. That was how bad the problem was even during those times. (The attached painting with the chief holding wine is from the time of Kamehameha I)

Now in comes the missionaries and the sweeping reforms of Kamehameha III. The missionaries discouraged alcohol because it was a waste of time and money. But many of the missionaries taught Hawaiians that Hawaiian culture was “uncivilized”. Hawaiian Christian converts, including Queen Ka’ahumanu, picked up and preached against hula, lua, etc. Hawaiians were told to relate to the Bible and to be time conscious. They were fined for not attending church. If you wanted a higher education, you needed to attend a Christian college or seminary. The ways of the past needed to be discredited and abandoned. 

When Kamehameha III came of age, not only was the culture dramatically changed but the entire political system. So in a span of 40 years, you went from traditional Hawaiian chiefdoms with chiefs wear feather regalia into a fully functioning Western-style democracy under a constitutional monarchy complete with politicians in top hats and suits. Within that same span, you also went from communal land ownership to private property rights and from an entirely Hawaiian political body into a multiracial polity. In many ways, Kamehameha III had no choice because of the way Western countries had been eating up Pacific countries. By self-Westernization, Hawaiians in power probably thought that was the only way to avoid full colonialism like what was going on in Tahiti and Aotearoa.

With the changes in government, also came the formalization of Hawai’i as a capitalist nation. Hawaiians needed to work, to trade and to build up capital. Chiefs felt the need to keep up with the Joneses so to speak. Hawaiians were told to wear dresses and wear Western attire. Nearly every important Christian mission had mission stores were Hawaiians could buy Bibles, clothes and household goods that “civilized” people should have. So right away you can see the relationship and profitability between Westernization and Christianization. As a reminder, this was the 19th century where there was no welfare or social security. In the UK during the same time period of Kamehameha III, 1 million Irish died in 5 years during the Irish Potato famine because the thinking was that poverty was a person’s own fault and was the natural order of balancing out things. So Kamehameha III’s new Western advisers and new Western trained Hawaiian Christian advisers had some of similar notions when it came to poverty and even treating diseases. These notions also filtered into the Chief’s Children School, where many of the noble children studied. 

On top of all of this, you had death. Massive death. Conservative numbers say that the Hawaiian population in 1778 was over 200,000. By 1887, 45,000 was left. King Kamehameha V and King Kalakaua used to get daily updates on diseases and death counts from the Board of Health telling them how many Hawaiians were dying. For King Kalakaua, there was a general and real fear of that the Hawaiian population would become extinct within a hundred years. Every Hawaiian in the 19th century lost family members to smallpox, measles Hansen’s disease and other epidemics. King Kalakaua himself lost two siblings to introduced diseases. 

So you had death stalking the Hawaiian nation and at the same time you had the cultural bomb represented by missionaries and capitalism, there would people who had no bond with the Hawaiian culture. There were would be people who suddenly became economically marginalized in the new order. There was of course resistance to all of these changes ranging from petitions to cult groups. But for the average Kanaka Maoli, the pressures to deal with all of these rapid changes must have been soul breaking. Alcohol became an addictive escape from the pain, sorrow, cultural confusion, and poverty for many Hawaiians. As mentioned previously, Hawaiians also had no genetic tolerance for alcohol and there were even sayings that by non-Hawaiians that the easiest way to swindle land from a native was to get him drunk. That’s actually how many Hawaiian families lost some of their lands. People who do not have a clear understanding of the 19th century and of how addiction works may not understand any of this If you are addicted to something, you’re going to do what it takes to get your fix. In the 19th century, there also was no support groups and no Alcoholics Anonymous–you went to jail or went to church and prayed a lot to recover. So stealing artifacts or selling family ancestral to get money to buy more drinks shouldn’t be surprising. It should be a learning lesson on the tragedy that still affects our Hawaiian community today in one way or another.

Queen Kapiʻolani and her Legacy of Kapiʻolani Medical Center

I just thought I’d bring up one of the most long lasting legacies of the late queen–Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children. Both Queen’s Hospital (established by Queen Emma) and Kapi’olani Medical Center were established private by those two royal consorts to address the needs of the Hawaiian people–needs that the Hawaiian legislature was not quick enough to address. Queen Kapi’olani had no children. She did have miscarriages and was the kahu for Crown Prince Albert Kaleiopapa-a-Kamehameha. From this profound sense of wanting to have her own children but not able to, Queen Kapi’olani founded a medical facility specifically to address the needs of women and children. The spend over three years fundraising for the hospital after time and again the requests for a public hospital for women and children went upon the ears of the all male and predominately Native Hawaiian national legislature–some of whom did not understand how pressing the need was. Some in the government, inspired by Calvinist dogma, that public healthcare was not a right. Queen Kapi’olani disagreed and both Queen Emma and Queen Kapi’olani were early Native Hawaiian advocates of universal healthcare. In particularly, both women saw the need for healthcare as a national emergency as the Hawaiian race itself was facing extinction due to the introduced foreign diseases. Queen Kapi’olani herself saw that in the outer islands, women did not have access to midwives (as previously kahuna served as midwives but kahuna were banned) and only the wealthy foreigners and landed rich Hawaiians could afford foreign doctors. The Queen believed in her husband’s campaign motto of “Ho’oulu Lāhui (Increase the Nation)” but “ho’oulu” (to increase) strengthen the well being of the women and children of the country and women and children of her era badly needed healthcare. It was also deeply personal to the Queen as someone who had experienced burying not just her own child in infancy but also her ward, the Crown Prince, whom she raised as her own.

For three years Queen Kapi’olani had bazaars, bake sales, lu’au and went knocking on houses collecting funds to build her hospital and finally in 1890 with land she donated and with the donations she collected, she founded Kapi’olani Maternity Home. Since 1890, over 400,000 babies were born at Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children and it is still the only public pediatric tertiary care center in the Hawai’i. Queen Kapi’olani may not have been able to have children of her own, but she tried to ensure that other women–no matter their occupation or station in life—would be able to have their own children in a modern and healthy facility. 

Queen Emma and Queen Victoria

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The relationship between Queen Emma and Queen Victoria in fact mirrored the complicated race and class relations in Victorian England where Queen Victoria saw Queen Emma as a royal therefore deserving of respect by virtue of her class but subordinate because of her race. Hawaiian writers tend to use the positive diary entries of Queen Victoria on Queen Emmaʻs visit to England as proof of a friendship (i.e. Queen Victoria remarking on how English Queen Emma was). But that also ignores the negative diary entries of Queen Victoria where Queen Victoria called Queen Emma “that Black Queen” and where Queen Victoria purposely planned the visit at Windsor Castle rather than Buckingham Palace. A problem with Hawaiian scholarship, indeed American scholarship in the last 80 years, has omitting contrary research or selective history writing. Queen Emma on the other hand, while admiring Queen Victoria for being a woman at the head of an empire also strongly disliked British actions in the Pacific specifically the the New Zealand Wars. Although Queen Emma was taught all the manners of a proper aristocrat English woman, the Queen never forgot who her ancestors were and her sympathies always laid with her own people and with other Pacific peoples. She has concerns about French and British colonialism in the Pacific and corresponded with Malay and Indian princes.

Much is also said about Queen Emmaʻs beauty. Photos do not do justice to her. Many foreign ambassadors commented on her charisma and her beauty. Shinmi Masaoki, a member of the first Japanese embassy to the United States, wrote poems about her. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was also an admirer of Queen Emma and in many ways the two women were similar. Both were remarked as great beauties but they both were sharp. Queen Emma was also intellectually curious and had a quick wit. She was an avid writer and subscribed to a large variety of British, French and Hawaiian publications. She understood world events and was also a patron of culture and the arts. She supported the Niʻihau mat industry and encouraged women to write, paint and to gain professions. She was equally comfortable having high tea as well as eating fish and poi in her grass hale. During her visit to England, she complained about the pains of not having fresh fish and good poi.

Queen Emma was also the personal choice of King Kamehameha V and perhaps of King Lunalilo as their successors. But King Kamehameha V felt that Queen Emma having already suffered so much would suffer more if given the Throne and thus he offered the Throne to Princess Bernice Pauahi. In 1874, Queen Emma ran against Colonel David Kalākaua and that election split the loyalties of Hawaiian aliʻi. That campaign was particularly nasty and show some of the ugliness of not just electoral contests but within the Hawaiian community. Some in the Hawaiian community did not want Queen Emma because she was a woman and she was not “pure” Hawaiian. Some said she was “too haole” or “too pro-British”. Allegations were laid about her elitism and favouritism at court. Queen Emma supporters threw mud also at Kalākaua and his wife, Kapiʻolani. Overall, it was a nasty election and it broke Queen Emmaʻs spirit for time and she remained outside of political life for most of the reminder of her life.

But she still a formidable woman. When the Church of England tried to place the Hawaiian Reformed Catholic Church (as the Anglican Church was then called in Hawaiʻi) under the Episcopal Church of the US, she threatened to take back her lands and funds before seeing an American bishop set foot at St. Andrewʻs. The Queen had experienced sexism and racism while on her visit to the United States (including by the US president himself) and had come to see the United States as a hypocrite to its own pronounced democratic claims. She was the first Hawaiian royal to visit a Native American reservation directly so she understood the conditions there and feared that the US would try to take over Hawaiʻi and force Hawaiians into those same conditions. When talk of annexation became loud in 1881, Queen Emma stepped out of private life and was vocal in opposition to any sort of annexation to the United States saying that such talk made her “blood boil” and threatened to go to the UK and France to gain support against the annexation. The Queen also raised the possibility of an electoral boycott or running as a legislator herself if annexation was made a real possibility. Although her parentage was Anglo-Hawaiian, her heart solely was Hawaiian. 

Thought on Queen Liliʻuokalaniʻs Imprisonment

January 24 marks the anniversary of Queen Lili’uokalani’s abdication. The Queen was dethroned 2 years prior and was already imprisoned in a corner room of ‘Iolani Palace after a nationalist uprising was crushed by the Republic of Hawai’i. The windows of her cell–I think we should be calling it what it was–was frosted so that the public could not see her nor could she see the public. For years after her imprisonment, the Queen talked about the goose stepping of the guards around her cell day and night. The original plans of the State Council of the Republic was to have the Queen executed along with members of her family and her key supporters. But the US and Japanese ministers (ambassadors) informed President Dole that to execute the Queen would cause both of their countries to intervene militarily. The Queen was unaware of that until years after “annexation”, So the Republic decided to imprisoned her and force her to abdicate. The Queen was perplexed because the propaganda of the Republic of Hawai’i was that a revolution had dethroned her and dethroned monarchs usually are not requested to abdicated after they’ve been dethroned.

The real reason of course was that the Republic wanted to demoralize the Hawaiian people and they lacked legitimacy in the eyes of the population. So she said no. They warned her that she would be put on trial and executed and the Queen still said essentially go ahead and make me a martyr. But presented with a list of people that would be executed, including her two nephews, the Queen reluctantly signed the papers as Lili’uokalani Dominis–a name she never used in her life. The Queen was not simply to abdicate for herself, but for the entire ali’i system that governed Hawai’i for a 1,000 years. “Ua pau ke ali’i….” read the first line in the official Hawaiian translation. the Hawaiian version kept repeating phrases that translated as: the time of the ali’i has passed; the ali’i are no more; and the era of the ali’i is gone. The Queen was brought up instilled with the virtues of the ali’i and of it’s obligations. To have had to sign away not only your rights to the Crown but made to also sign away the destruction of something so integrated into your own identity and to your own culture must have been excruciating. But in the queen’s head, she thought about the lives of those imprisoned and those that might be executed then rationalized that anything she could do to save the lives of her people would be worth it. So she signed. .

The Queen was eventually put on trial, found guilty of misprision of treason–a crime was not in the legal codes of Hawai’i nor even in the US but from an obscure 17th century English law meant to deter Stuart supporters– and spend more months in that cell. When the Queen was released from prison she stopped at the doorway, turned around, took a look at her cell and said “Although I will not miss this room. I will never forget it”. The Queen said that she considered that her greatest achievement in her life was that not a single stain of blood from friend or foe was on her soul.

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Alice Ball

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Most people would not recognise this portrait. This is Alice Ball. Alice Augusta Ball was born on July 24, 1892 in Seattle, Washington and was born in a family of prominent African-American trailblazers. Her grandfather was James P. Ball, who was a well known photographer who focused on photographing African-Americans and African-American communities. Her family was having “difficulties” (according to stories, these included run ins with the KKK) in the continental US for their outspoken views on the plight of African-Americans in the South and found themselves in Hawaiʻi. Alice Ball attended elementary and middle school in Central Grammar School (now Central Middle School) in Honolulu and studied chemistry at the University of Washington,While she was at the University of Washington she earned a bachelor’s degree science in pharmaceutical chemistry and two years later she received a second BS in pharmacy. She was one of the few women and African-American scientists of her time ever to have been published in Journal of the American Chemical Society. After graduation, she was offered several scholarships including at UC Berkeley but opted to take her MA at UH Manoa because she wanted to study tropical medicines and she wanted to return to Hawaiʻi.

During the course of her studies at UH, she began to help with the Leprosy Station in Kalihi and found out about the use of chaulmoogra or Hydnocarpus wightiana seed oil to relieve some of the pain and other side affects of Hansenʻs disease. Hydnocarpus wightiana seed oil had been used for centuries by Indian and Chinese doctors to help alleviate symptoms of Hansenʻs disease and it was introduced as a medicine in the late 19th century. Ball found the method being used in Kalihi as being not efficient and effective enough so she sought to experience with new techniques to extract the seed oil. At the age of 23, she found a new technique that was for a very short time called the “Ball Method”. A year following her find and right after her MA graduation, she went back to Seattle for family reasons where she died at the age of 24 after complications from exposure to chlorine gas.

Her MA thesis mentor and UH president, Dr. Arthur Lyman Dean, stole her research and the credit. The “Ball Method” became the “Dean Method”. When tests of the “Ball Method” proved successful on 17 Hansenʻs disease patients in Kalihi, Dr. Dean never gave her any of the credit nor was she mentioned by the university for more than 50 years. Although she was the first female and the first African-American to graduate with a science degree from UH, UH never mentioned her.

In 2000, the then Lt. Governor Mazie Hirono named Feb. 29th “Alice Ball Day.”

In 2007, Alice Ball was finally recognized by UH and awarded posthumously with the UH’s Regents’ Medal of Distinction.

The story of Alice Ball remains a source of pride for many African-Americans but also a point of righteous anger because of what was done to her and how she was forgotten for decades. Even for people from Hawaiʻi. When we think of local, we naturally think of Kanaka Maoli, who have been here since time immemorial–and will always be here. But we also think of other groups. We think of Japanese-Americans. We think of Filipinos. We think of the Chinese. But we often forget that there has been African-Americans within our local community just as long as some of the other groups we think of as “local”. They, too, have added their stories to our own stories and we should strive to honor them too because they are part of who we are as people of Hawaiʻi.

We also tend to forget of the struggles of women in our community to gain the respect and acknowledge that is long over due. People like Alice Ball. If we really want to respect people like Alice Ball, we need to learn this histories. We need to recognize their contributions. We need to encourage more women to attend higher education. We need to not only close but obliferate the gender gap in pay, in job opportunities, in politics, and potential so that we can produce more women like our own Queen Liliʻuokalani, like Alice Ball, and so many others.

Some Thoughts on Kaʻahumanu I

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Kaʻahumanu remains to this day a controversial figure in Hawaiian history.Her parents were Chief Keʻeaumoku Pāpaʻiahiahi of Kona and Princess Nāmāhānaʻi Kaleleokalani of Maui. Nāmāhānaʻi was the sister of King Kahekili II, the man who had he lived a decade longer, would have united the entire archipelago. Kaʻahumanu birth was not widely celebrated. Her uncle in fact had given thought to seize the baby because he was so opposed to his sisterʻs conjugal union with Keʻeaumoku. Growing up, Kaʻahumanu did not grow up in the court of Maui and at barely a teen, her family fled to Kona out of fear of the coming succession war on that island. Her early years was not comfortable. But on the island of Hawaiʻi, Keʻeaumoku became one of the most important figures on the island. Eventually, he backed a young chief of moderate rank–a man we know as Kamehameha I. As part of the politics of the time, Kaʻahumanu was given to Kamehameha I by her father as a wife–though Kaʻahumanu would in time take other husbands. While Keʻeaumoku was a master tactician, Kaʻahumanu proved herself to be a master at court intrigue, trade and diplomacy.

She was also an excellent surfer, diver and lua (martial arts) expert. Her father taught her the arts of war and as Kamehameha swept through the archipelago with his cannons and canoes, the 6ʻ0 foot Kaʻahumanu stood behind him literally at the battle fields.

When the Europeans, Americans and Chinese began to arrive and trade with Hawaiians, Kaʻahumanu saw opportunities. As chiefs became more and more in debt to traders, Kaʻahumanu used their debt to leverage political influence in order to keep chiefs loyal to the new regime. She also learned how to do accounting and how to speak the languages of the traders. Some accounts say that she was able to understand some French, Spanish, and English. When the american missionaries arrived years later, they were surprised that Kaʻahumanu could understand English.

She also was reformer.

When Kamehameha I died, she was appointed as Kuhina Nui, something akin to Prime Minister or Grand Vizier. No one question the appoint on the account of her gender. There were, however, questions on the fitness of Kamehameha II–questions that Kamehameha I even asked of himself. Within 6 months of the passing of Kamehameha I, Queen Keōpuolani (mother of King Kamehameha II and III) and Kaʻahumanu managed to topple not just the kapu system but eliminated the entire kahuna class. Temples were dismantled and kiʻi idols were burned. Women had unparalleled political power and for the first time, Hawaiians had no gods to worship. The state religion was gone.

A few months later, American missionaries arrived at the request of Hawaiian seaman. Kamehameha II wanted to have the missionaries leave. But seeing where the real power lay, they asked for Kaʻahumanuʻs consent to stay and preach. Kaʻahumanu was not interested in their religion. She knew of Christianity from Captain Vancouver and from French Catholic priests. The missionaries wisely offered something else–education. They would teach the Kingdom literacy and give Hawaiians an education that would equip them to handle the pressures of the outside world. Kaʻahumanu agreed to this and the written Hawaiian language was developed. After four long years, the missionaries converted Kaʻahumanu though some said that her real religion was that of politics. Some said that with the absence of a state religion, Kaʻahumanu felt that Christianity might fill that vacuum. Soon, the first written laws were proclaimed by Kaʻahumanu and King Kamehameha III and Hawaiian language newspapers began to be printed. The first treaty signed by Hawaiʻi and the US–as independent powers–was signed under her.

After her conversion, she decided to give herself a birthday. Although the American missionaries frowned upon celebrating anything really she wanted a birthday and made March 17 her birthday. This was because just as St Patrick converted the island of Ireland, she had helped to convert Hawaiʻi and therefore felt a connection. Also despite her conversion and pressure from the American missionaries, she allowed other Christian churches to practice.

By the time of Kaʻahumanuʻs death, 60% of Native Hawaiians were literate. A decade after her death, Hawaiʻiʻs literacy was near universal, public schools was in full operation, there were still female prime ministers (who named themselves “Kaʻahumanu” upon assuming office) and Hawaiʻi had become a constitutional Monarchy.

King Kalākaua, Pacific Self-Determination and Walter Gibson

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This is one of several protests sent by King Kalākauaʻs Foreign Minister, W. M. Gibson, to Great Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States throughout the 1880s. This specific protest was against the “Declaration between the Governments of Great Britain and the German Empire relating to the Demarcation of the British and German Spheres of Influence in the Western Pacific” of April 6, 1886. This declaration divided the Pacific between the Germans and the British paving the way for the political divide of Samoa, Micronesia, and Papua-New Guinea while recognizing the existing Dutch colonies of the East Indies (Indonesia) and West Papua, the French occupied Polynesia, and the Spanish colonies of the Philippines and the Marianas.

What is important about this protest is that it articulates for the first time that all peoples of the Pacific have the right to self determination. Itʻs the first time that the words “self-determination” was used in the context of the Pacific and it justified that Hawaiian independence had already showed that Pacific peoples, whether they were Javanese or Gilbertese or Samoans, were capable of establishing for themselves a “civilized government without foreign interference”. This type of protest began in 1883 and was repeatedly sent out to various European and American governments for several years. One may not today think much of this, but at the time, for a Pacific Island country to be protesting on behalf of other Pacific peoples, it was seen by particularly the US, the UK and Germany as almost revolutionary. The protests also made it clear that the annexations of nations in the Pacific was being made without the consent of the governed and that the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom considered itself the chief advocate of Polynesian self-determination. It also believed that Polynesia was from Easter Island to Malaya. This helps to explain one of the motivation for the 1887 constitution and the 1893 coup–Hawaiian independence and the Monarchyʻs stance against colonialism highlighted the struggle of other Pacific Island nations.