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Birthday Observation for Kamehameha III, March 17

March 6, 2019, 11:32 AM HST · Updated March 6, 11:32 AM
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Kauikeaouli. PC: Hawai’i State Archives via Lahaina Restoration Foundation

March 17, the observed birthday of Mōʻī Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III), was celebrated as a National Holiday in the Hawaiian Kingdom. In commemoration of this historic day, Lāhainā Restoration Foundation presents a free educational event on Sunday, March 17, 2019.

The event features an illustrated research presentation by Ronald Williams Jr. PhD entitled “Hoʻomana Kūkulu Aupuni: Remembering Kauikeaouli and the Construction of the Hawaiian Nation.” The talk takes place at the King Kamehameha III Elementary School cafetorium from 4 to 6 p.m. and is free and open to the community.

“The moʻolelo of Mōʻī Kauikeaouli that has emerged from recent research has completely reformed understandings of his actions and accomplishments,” said Dr. Williams. “His story uncovers the broader story of Hawaiian historiography, re-characterizing Kanaka ʻŌiwi from docile victims to potent actors. What was accomplished by this native monarch and his people in the early 19th century is one of the greatest moʻolelo in world history.”

A popular lecturer throughout the isles, Dr. Williams holds a doctorate in History with a specialization in Hawaiʻi and native-language resources. He is a former faculty member of the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and cultural affiliate at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. He has served as President of the Hawaiian Historical Society and is currently Hoʻopaʻa Kūʻauhau (Historian) for the community organization, Ka ʻAhahui Hawaiʻi Aloha ʻĀina.

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Dr. Williams has published in a wide variety of both academic and community resources including the Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion in America and the Hawaiian Journal of History.

“The previous century’s master narrative for Hawaiʻi was sourced from mostly English-language materials—greatly diminishing native voice concerning their own lives and land,” said Dr. Williams. “New research into the remarkably broad and rich collection of native-language primary resources is adding to and reshaping understandings of a people and their nation.”

The Lahaina Restoration Foundation invites the public to join in commemorating the observed birthday of Mōʻī Kauikeaouli, and learning the profound story of the nation he helped build.

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A light pūpū reception will follow the free lecture. Ample, free, onsite parking is available. Vehicles can access the school grounds from the Front Street gates flanking the playground. The main gate to the school will also be open for pedestrians. Look for event directional signs to the cafetorium, which is located on the makai (ocean) side of campus.

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