The 100th anniversary of the death of Queen Liliʻuokalani was commemorated by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge with a special centennial concert and fundraiser at Kennedy Theatre on October 7. Kumu hula, artists and scholars paid tribute to the Queen with special performances of mele, hula and haʻi ʻōlelo at Hoʻohāliʻaliʻa: Remembering Her Majesty. Liliʻuokalani died on November 11, 1917.
The event was part of the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge’s centennial celebration honoring the Queen and centered around four of the her greatest attributes—mākaukau (ability), noʻeau (grace and talent), kū i ka pono (ethics) and wiwoʻole (courage). The goal of the concert, and an accompanying extensive exhibit at Hamilton Library, was to celebrate the Liliʻuokalani’s life and legacy and introduce the Queen, and her creative genius, to those who may not be familiar with her story.
“One thing that we did get from attendees is that they thought they knew about the Queen, but they learned so much more in a gentle and gracious way,” said event organizer and Hawaiʻinuiākea Interim Dean Jon Osorio. “Liliʻuokalani sacrificed herself in order to protect her people from being killed in a confrontation with the U.S., and also followed a tactic of depending on law and the practices of nation in order to protect our ability to advocate for our sovereignty in the future.”
Performers included Manu Boyd and Hālau O ke ʻAʻaliʻi Kū Makani; Nola Nāhulu and the Honolulu Youth Opera Chorus: The Cantilena and Gioventu Musicale Ensembles; the UH Mānoa Hawaiian Chorus; the Kawaiolaonapūkanileo Vocal Ensemble; Hālau ka Lā ʻŌnohi Mai o Haʻehaʻe; and Vicky Holt Takamine and Hālau Pua Aliʻi ʻIlima. All proceeds will fund scholarships for Native Hawaiian students attending UH Mānoa.
“All that we produced for Saturday’s concert came from volunteers and donors, but it was also the complete professionalism of our staff, partners in other UH departments and outside entities such as the state Archives, who gave fully of themselves,” said Osorio. “This is why it was as good as it was.”
The musical gathering capped an ongoing exhibit at Hamilton Library, free and open to the public since early September, that runs through October 15. The exhibit is curated by Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies Librarian Keahiahi Long and Associate Professor April Drexel, and includes 32 pieces from five different repositories—the Hawaiʻi State Archives, ʻIolani Palace, Hawaiʻi Pacific Collection of UH Mānoa’s Hamilton Library, Mission Houses Library and Ka Waihona A Ke Aloha.