KOLOA — Kuhio Day meant two different things for two young girls who attended
Prince Kuhio commemorative services Saturday at the Prince’s birthplace in
Courtney Denson, 10, a fifth grader from Corvalis, Ore., was subdued
as she strode beside Mayor Maryanne Kusaka in the processional that opened the
An equally quiet Chelise Kahalekomo held a ho’okupu of
a floral arrangement as she walked at the side of her grandmother, Janet
Kahalekomo, who represented the Kaumualii chapter of the Hawaiian Civic
The girls moved with the solemn processional as it paraded past the
bronze bust of the Prince before settling into neatly arranged seats at the
base of the statue.
Kusaka introduced Courtney Denson to the audience and
explained that her great-grandfather, “Bumpy” Dansen, was one of the first
timeshare buyers when the Mokihana condominiums opened up in Kapa’a, and
through attendance at one of the canoe races that was part of the Kuhio Day
festivities, became familiar with the local nobility and his
Dansen returned each year to spend six months here, always
enjoying the Prince Kuhio events.
In another row, Chelise cradled her
Sarah Kailikea, celebrating her 89th birthday this
year, called Courtney to the stone podium, and reading from a yellowed page
from the Feb. 26, 1969, issue of “The Garden Island” told the Oregon youngster
about the days the Prince spent in private school, and how a French teacher at
Atkinson School on O’ahu gave the Prince the title of “Prince Cupid,” a
nickname that followed him through the Halls of Congress.
Courtney, who turns 11 on March 26, the copy of the newspaper. The gift was
made special as Kusaka helped Kailikea write a message of aloha from the
Chelise, who had been sitting attentively throughout the ceremony,
was gently nudged by her grandmother as the Kaumualii Chapter of the Hawaiian
Civic Clubs made its way to the base of the statue, Chelise having the honor of
handing the ho’okupu to waiting attendants.
Alii Nui Gabriel Makuakane of
Kona was flanked by Kaua’i members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I Chapter
No. 3, Kaumualii and its women’s auxiliary.
Prince Kuhio Day, a state
holiday, was observed Monday.
At Saturday’s pre-holiday event, emcee
Warren Perry said that people need to pause, reflect, and pay respect to the
many accomplishments of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Piikoi, affectionately
known as “The Citizen Prince.”
Prince Kuhio was a descendant of ancient
royal families from O’ahu, Kaua’i, Maui, and Hawai’i.
In tracing the
genealogy of Kuhio, his descent was through the king Peleioholani who passed
away in 1779 and succeeded by his son Kumahana and a grandson
During the reign of Peleioholani, Kaneoneo had ruled the family
lands on Kaua’i and married Kamakahelei, the Kaua’i queen.
The couple had
two daughters, Kapuaamooku being the eldest.
Around 1778, Kamakahelei
discarded her husband Kaneoneo and married Kaeokulani.
The couple had a
son who is known historically as Kaumualii.
To preserve the purity of the
bloodline, Kaumualii took his half sister Kapuaamoku as his wife, and they
became the parents of two kapumoe children — the High Chiefess Kekaulike
Kinoiki and the High Chief Kealiiahonui.
The first Chief Piikoi was a close
relative of King Kaumualii, and even possibly a half brother.
relationship was so close that he became known through his role as being
Kaumualii’s pipe lighter about the time the missionaries arrived.
was an apt student of the new palapala (book learning) and a likeable person
who readily became a Christian convert.
He was so likeable that at the
time Liholiho kidnapped Kaumualii, Liholiho asked Kamualii to give him Piikoi
as a personal attendant.
Liholiho gave Piikoi, who took the Christian name
Jonah, large parcels of land lying on the Diamond Head side of McKinley High
School on O’ahu.
His son, High Chief David Kahalepouli Piikoi was a cousin
of King Kalakaua and Queen Lihuokalani through his mother Kekahili, a half
sister of the Chief Kapaakea, father of the King and Queen.
Kinoiki II and David Kahalepuli Piikoi had three sons, David Kawananakoa Piikoi
who was born on Feb. 19, 1868, in Honolulu, Edward Keliiahonui, and Jonah
Kalanianaole who was born on March 26, 1871, at Koloa, Kaua’i.
boys lost their mother in 1884 and were adopted as teenagers by their alii aunt
After Kalakaua and Kapiolani ascended the throne of the
Kingdom of Hawai’i in 1874, the three great-grandsons of Kaumualii became heirs
to the throne.
In naming the immediate members of his family as heirs to
the throne, Kalakaua named his own brother and sisters first and gave them the
title of Royal Highness. He then named the three foster sons of his wife and
gave them each the title of Prince.
At Saturday’s ceremony, government
representatives offered their hookupu (tributes) to Prince Kuhio.
was a letter from U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, followed by the governor’s liaison
Roy Nishida who was flanked by his granddaughter, state Rep. Bertha Kawakami,
Kusaka and four members of the County Council, Ron Kouchi, Brian Baptiste,
Jimmy Tokioka with his son Pono and Gary Hooser.
Office of Hawaiian
Affairs Trustee Donald Cataluna was the featured speaker.
and Juliet Aiu’s efforts at celebrating Prince Kuhio’s heritage were
acknowledged by Kusaka, and in accordance with their retirement request,
announced that grants would be provided to the canoe clubs and the Royal Order
of Kamehameha to help perpetuate the Prince’s heritage.
the growth in attendance of the annual ceremony, and explained to the audience
how important it was that young people (na opio) understand the
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Alu Like, Inc., Kamehameha
Schools/Bishop Estate, Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center (represented by the
Hawaiian Club at Waimea High School), Ka Pa Kui A Holo-Kaua’i, and Ka Lahui
Hawai’i offered their ho’okupu before Cheryl Lovell closed off the giving with
her personal ho’okupu in remembrance of her grandmother.