LIHUE — Posters depicting the likeness of King Kaumualii are being distributed to classrooms around Kauai, launching The Year of the King.
Hosted by the Friends of King Kaumualii, a group formed in 2004 with the purpose of honoring the last king of Kauai and creating an educational program. The posters will be accompanied by a brochure by Lee Croft, author of “George Anton Schaefeer: Arm Wrestling with Kamehameha,” which contains an illustration of Kaumualii by Hawaiian artist Brook Kapukuniahi Parker.
When the Friends of King Kaumualii was formed, one of its initial projects was to commission a statue of the king.
However, there was no portrait of him or any suitable renditions of his likeness until 2008 when Croft’s book hit the market.
The release of Croft’s book and the availability of a likeness of Kaumualii rejuvenated the spark of the Friends of King Kaumualii, which started planning for the commissioning of a statue through heightened community awareness and activities in honor of Kaumualii.
One of the goals of the Friends of King Kaumualii during The Year of the King is to raise $40,000 for a statue on the grounds of Paulaula Russian Fort in Waimea.
A celebration showcasing the legacy of Kaumualii, Taumualii O Kalani, will take place at the Paulaula Russian Fort on Oct. 19 from noon to 7 p.m., states the Kauai Aloha Festivals website.
The celebration will feature the Royal Court attending the event starting with the noon-high ceremonies honoring Taumualii o Kalani and the aina.
Aletha Kaohi, president of the Friends of King Kaumualii states the event commissions haku mele, or poets and composers, to compose an original composition about the significant events and places connected to Kauai’s last ruling monarch.
In addition to the compositions, there will be a wide variety of ethnic food booths offered by West Kauai food establishments.
Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., through a mayoral proclamation, encourages the students and Kauai citizens to familiarize themselves with the importance of recognizing and participating in the activities, which are planned by the Friends of King Kaumualii.