Maui Arts & Entertainment

Waiola Church Hosts Celebration of Mo‘i Wahine Keōpūolani

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Royal tomb at Waiola Church, File photo by Wendy Osher.

Waiola Church in West Maui hosts the Celebration of Mo‘i Wahine Keōpūolani, The Sacred Queen of Hawai‘i.

All are encouraged and invited to attend the celebration on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, as the 197 year old historic church in Lahaina will be honoring Keōpūolani, whose final resting place is The Royal Tomb located in Waiola’s Waine‘e graveyard.

Events will commence at 8 a.m. with the kau ha‘i delivered by Nalani Kanaka‘ole of the esteemed Edith Kanakaole Foundation.


Educational and historical talks will be led by Dr. Ronald Williams, PHD “on the Queen’s encounters with our Tahitian Cousins, who arrived and translated for the missionaries here in Lahaina until her last days here on Earth,” event organizers said.  Dr. Williams has provided critical Curriculum Resource Standards “Ola Nā Iwi,” located on the Waiola Church website.

Also contributing will be Tanya Lee-Greig, Archaeologist and Principle Investigator for ʻĀina Archaeology, who has been volunteering her personal time and company resources to document and map the historic graveyard at Waiola Church. Together with her staff, they will be completing a 3D laser scan of the Royal Tomb and monument to create a detailed digital model for archival and educational purposes.

The celebration will conclude with a Tamaaraa, a Tahitian Feast, in celebration of Tahitian connections, with food, song and dance. Gates for the Feast open at 5:30 p.m. Ticket prices for the evening meal and entertainment are $30 per person. The event is made possible through the County of Maui Office of Economic Development.


Waiola Church, File photo by Wendy Osher.

Royal tomb at Waiola Church, File photo by Wendy Osher.

Waiola Church, File photo by Wendy Osher.

Waiola Church, File photo by Wendy Osher.


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