People performing hula outside Iolani Palace
ʻIolani Palace

September marks Hawaiian History Month, recognizing social justice and reconciliation of historical and cultural wrongs in Hawaiʻi. The fourth annual five week-long virtual and in-person event is spearheaded by the Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī Coalition in collaboration with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Hawaiʻinuākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge (HSHK).

Planned presentations will encompass Hawaiian health, culture-based education, Hawaiian language theatre and Indigenous filmmaking.

People performing at the bandstand on the grounds of Iolani Palace
Kaliko Fase and Iāsona Kaper share a short scene from UH Mānoa production Kaisara

Festivities opened at ʻIolani Palace on September 2, in celebration of the 185th birthday of Queen Liliʻuokalani, Hawaiʻi’s last reigning monarch. These included a preview of the upcoming UH Mānoa Department of Theatre and Dance and Kennedy Theatre production, Kaisara. The ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) hana keaka (play) is inspired by four scenes from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar that were translated into Hawaiian by James N. K. Keola and published in a Hawaiian language newspaper in 1896.

Hawaiʻinuiākea continues to partner with members of the Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī Coalition to honor our Queen and the true history of our people,” said Malia Nobrega, director of strategic partnerships at Hawaiʻinuiākea who helped organize events. “It is our hope that throughout Hawaiian History Month we all get to learn more about the history of our past, the exciting stories of today, and create a future for our keiki that is rooted in ALOHA ʻĀINA (love of the land).”

E Liliʻu Ē

Students making lei

In honor of Liliʻuokalani, HSHK’s Native Hawaiian Student Services hosted lei workshops on September 5 at the Queen Liliʻuokalani Center for Student Services (QLCSS) building at UH Mānoa. Close to two-dozen students learned two lei styles, lei piko (collective) and lei kui (stringing). On September 6, the adornments were draped over ka ahu o Kamakaʻeha (altar dedicated to the Queen) fronting QLCSS and NHSS’ portrait of the beloved mōʻī wahine (queen) during the center’s E Liliʻu Ē event.

More Hawaiian History Month events

  • September 13, 15: Hoʻōla: Acknowledging our Past, Planning for our Future
  • September 20–24: Hana Keaka — A World Premiere of Kaisara, a Hawaiian Language Play and Events
  • September 29: ʻOnipaʻa Reimagined – 30 years of Community Resilience Through Film

The inaugural Hawaiian History Month was first held in 2020.

For more information go to the Hawaiian History Month website.

U H N H S S students and faculty with lei draped portrait of Liliuokalani