homepage logo

‘Ahahui Ka‘ahumanu Society to present rare, free show

By Staff | Jan 17, 2013

Ahumanu is comprised of Maui radio personality Liz “Kopa‘a Tita” Morales (left) and surfer/artist Joni DeMello. They will be joined by Joni’s mom, Aunty Bessie DeMello, to form a spirited trio whose Polynesian harmonies, skilled musicianship and vast repertoire will be featured at “Hawaii Calls” on Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel.

KAANAPALI – The ‘Ahahui Ka’ahumanu Society will present “Hawaii Calls” at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 6 to 9 p.m.

At this lovely Hawaiian evening with the ‘Ahahui Ka’ahumanu Society, the voices of Ahumanu will provide the musical background.

The program will be presented onstage at the Tiki Terrace Restaurant. Music accompanied by hula reminiscent of the era that created the iconic lure and nostalgia of Hawaii will be presented. This is a rare public performance!

In addition to performing, the society will offer crafts, lei and specialty items for sale for its scholarship fund.

Admission to open courtyard seating is free. Light refreshments are available from the Tiki Grill and Bar. For information, dining reservations and reserved seating in the Tiki Terrace Restaurant, call 667-0124 or visit www.tikiterracerestaurant.com.

‘Ahahui Ka’ahumanu, or the Ka’ahumanu Society, is one of four royal societies in Hawaii. It is named after Queen Ka’ahumanu, who brought much change to her people and religion in Hawaii. The society is both benevolent and historical. Its primary goal is the respect of Hawaiians and Hawaiian culture.

There are nine chapters across Hawaii. ‘Ahahui Ka’ahumanu is similar to the Hawaiian Civic Club because it promotes Hawaiian culture, but royal societies are more symbolic and secretive. All members have a Hawaiian background and were invited to join.

“We are mostly known as the women in black with yellow leis,” said Molokai Chapter Secretary Carolyn Takeuchi.

At events, members must wear the official regalia. It includes a yellow feather lei representative of royal birth, a yellow ribbon with “‘Ahahui Ka’ahumanu” written on it and an emblematic pin fashioned after a traditional coin.

Ka’ahumanu was a missionary woman, and she saw the missionaries wearing all black. They had blots of black material, and the queen decided to wear the same for the rest of her life.

The first function of ‘Ahahui Ka’ahumanu was to take care of the sick and dying – a mission that remains strong in society.

While each society is loyal to the monarchy, there are special ali’i (royal figures) who are given emphasis. The ‘Ahahui Ka’ahumanu Society celebrates King Kamehameha, Queen Lili’uokalani and its namesake, Queen Ka’ahumanu.

The society was originally conceived in 1863 by Ka’ahumanu’s niece, Princess Victoria Kamamalu.

Kamamalu named the organization, a women’s movement, after Ka’ahumanu, the favorite wife of King Kamehameha I.

Ka’ahumanu used her position to abolish kapu set on women and was granted the power of pu’uhonua, allowing her to spare anyone from execution and to protect women and children.

After Kamehameha died, Ka’ahumanu became joint ruler with Kamehameha’s son by another marriage, Liholiho. Later, she dedicated herself to Christianity and forged close bonds with missionaries.

Just before she died on June 5, 1832, she was handed the freshly printed first edition of the New Testament in Hawaiian.