Celebrating the prince

  • Margy Parker / Special to TGIFR!DAY

    Visitors admire an artist’s painted ipu (gourds) at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa’s Prince Kuhio Festival.

  • Contributed

    Born on March 26, 1871, Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole was prince of the reigning House of Kalakaua when the Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893.

  • Margy Parker / Special to TGIFR!DAY

    Information and demonstrations of traditional Hawaiian cultural practices are shared at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa’s Prince Kuhio Festival. Here, visitors learn about the importance of taro to Hawaiians and how it is pounded into poi.

  • Mike Teruya / Special to TGIFR!DAY

    A hula dancer performs before the lei-bedecked monument for Prince Kuhio at Prince Kuhio Park.

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole was not only born here in a location close to Poipu, on March 26, 1871.

Kuhio, among his many life accomplishments, created the Hawaiian Homesteads program that returned land to Native Hawaiians as an encouragement to become self-sufficient farmers, ranchers and homesteaders.

What is now the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Anahola Hawaiian Homes community is the first program created on Kauai under Kuhio’s leadership.

“It’s not the first in Hawaii,” said Kaliko Santos of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. “But it was the first on Kauai. I know because my parents were one of the first people to receive land there.”

Ka Hale Pono took the idea of Anahola being the first Hawaiian Homes community and took it a step further, creating the Anahola Prince Kuhio Day Celebration that will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Anahola Beach Park.

“Homesteaders normally don’t like to travel far for these types of events,” Santos said. “To this end, Ka Hale Pono decided to hold it in its backyard so the homesteaders can enjoy and celebrate Kuhio and his legacy.”

There is no admission to experience the day of entertainment and cultural activities, craft vendors — many coming from Anahola — bounce houses and food being offered by local nonprofits as fundraisers.

“Kamehameha Schools is having its outreach van on display,” Santos said. “I’ve never seen the inside of that van so I’m planning on being there to check out the new van.”

In addition to the day of activities, entertainment, and exhibits, Ka Hale Pono has chosen to honor an individual — always from the Hawaiian Homes — whose work in the community exemplifies traits similar to Kuhio.

“This year, it’s Hosea Lovell who will be honored,” Santos said. “It’s unfortunate that he’s passed, but his work will be remembered along with his family.”

Santos said the neat thing about the Anahola Prince Kuhio Day Celebration is that it’s like a ho‘olaule‘a, where the spectacle brings the community together.

“We have had this event for the past nine years,” Santos said. “During that time, we haven’t had to recycle anything because there is so much talent living in Anahola.”

The drug- and alcohol-free event is presented in partnership with the County of Kauai, OHA, DHHL and Ka Hale Pono.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

  1. Ken Conklin March 15, 2019 7:09 am Reply

    Some ethnic Hawaiians revere Kuhio as a prince for the same reasons the peasantry in any monarchial nation reveres its royalty — majesty, mystery, pride in the nobility of a great leader, and hope for handouts to help the poor and downtrodden. Wealthy racial separatist Hawaiian government institutions today honor Kuhio as their founding father, the man who bowed low enough to the colonizers to bring home the bacon from their far-away seat of power.

    The Kingdom, Republic, and Territory had a perfectly good homesteading program allowing people of all races to carve out a piece of the public lands for a fee-simple homestead for their family, which they could later hand down or sell to anyone they wished. But Kuhio pushed the Homes Commission Act through Congress, abolishing the race-free program and replacing it with race-based program restricted to native Hawaiians, who could hold the land only in leasehold as part of a communal racial ghetto. So the tycoons of the Hawaiian racial entitlements empire love him.

    Was Kuhio’s personal behavior princely? At least two major events in Kuhio’s life after the revolution of 1893 should cause Hawaiian sovereignty activists to question his worthiness as their torch-bearer. On these two occasions Kuhio was grossly unpatriotic to his Hawaiian “nation.” The first occasion was when he abandoned his nation at its time of greatest peril in order to pursue personal pleasure and foreign adventure. The second occasion was two decades later when he abused his power and prestige to launch a personal attack against Queen Liliuokalani in order to steal her land, for his personal enrichment, from the children she intended to help. Kuhio’s behavior on both occasions should be viewed as not merely selfish, but treasonous from the viewpoint of the sovereignty activists.

    The following 2 details are documented in a webpage. Google its title:
    “Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole — Just how princely was he?”

    1. Kuhio was absent from Hawaii for many years on an adventure trip during the crucial period in the late 1890s leading to annexation. He extended a European vacation by going to Africa where he spent three years fighting on the side of England in the second Boer War. Let’s put that in different terms so that today’s sovereignty activists will get the point. Kuhio, designated heir to the throne, abandoned his native land during a time of great political upheaval and went to war halfway around the world, fighting on the side of one white colonial power against another white colonial power in a war to see which one would win control over the land of a poor, downtrodden dark-skinned native population.

    2 The case of Kuhio vs. Liliuokalani in 1915-1916 is perhaps even more troubling. The “prince,” now Hawaii’s Territorial Delegate to Congress for 13 years, abused his power and prestige to launch a personal attack against Queen Liliuokalani in order to steal her land from the children she intended to help. Kuhio publicly accused her of mental incompetence in order to nullify her creation of the Queen Liliuokalani Childrens’ Trust, and to establish himself as conservator of her estate, so that after her death her Waikiki properties would go to him instead of to the benefit of the Hawaiian children. Luckily for the children, his lawsuit failed. Full text of the Hawaii Supreme Court decision, including details about what Kuhio was trying to do, is on the webpage.

    Kuhio filed his lawsuit on November 30, 1915. The Hawaii Supreme Court handed down its decision on August 16, 1916. Liliuokalani died broken hearted, only 15 months later, on November 11, 1917.

  2. I saw a Vampire once March 15, 2019 2:22 pm Reply

    That was only 3 years before King David Kalakaua took throne of the Hawaiian Kingdom. He was born on 1871. This proves my theory correct. They had contact then. But by canoe. They rode the waters off Kaua’i to Oahu, through the channel there. But this was only for Kaua’i.

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