Maui Events Reflect Upon Overthrow of Hawaiian Monarchy

January 16, 2013, 10:03 AM HST · Updated January 17, 6:34 AM
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Hawaii flag. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

A series of events will be held this week as groups reflect upon the January 17, 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy that took place 120 years ago.

An observance begins at noon on Thursday, Jan. 17 at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College Piko or Great Lawn, with a display of the 1897 Kū’ē Petitions.

The petition drive was led by a coalition opposed to the Treaty of Annexation that included the Hui Aloha ʻĀina for Women, the Hui Aloha ʻĀina for Men and the Hui Kālaiʻāina. It reportedly resulted in the delivery of 40,000 signatures to the US Congress from individuals opposed to the annexation of Hawaiʻi to the United States.

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The display will continue until noon on Saturday, Jan. 19.

The observance continues with the symbolic raising of the Hawaiian flag by the Royal Hawaiian Guards at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17.

The flag ceremony will be followed by a re-enactment of The Queen’s Women, written by Didi Lee Kwai at 5:30 p.m. The experience aims to depict what it was like for kūpuna (ancestors) to participate in the signing of the 1897 Kūʻē Petition.

The events will wind down with a 7 p.m. Kani I Ka Pō (Resound in the Darkness) lecture by Ron Williams, PhD.

Williams will delve into research from voluminous Hawaiian-language archives to bring forth perspectives from kanaka maoli and how they viewed their lives, land, and lāhui (nation).

The events precede a weekend dedication ceremony of a new ahu or altar at the Kepaniwai Heritage Gardens in ‘Iao Valley.

The altar, named Ahu Kinihapai, will be formally dedicated during a ceremony at noon on Sunday, Jan. 20.

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