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Foundation to hold birthday observation for Kamehameha III

By Staff | Mar 14, 2019

LAHAINA – March 17, the observed birthday of Mo’i Kauikeaouli (King Kamehameha III), was celebrated as a National Holiday in the Hawaiian Kingdom. In commemoration of this historic day, Lahaina Restoration Foundation will present a free educational event on Sunday, March 17.

The event will feature an illustrated research presentation by Ronald Williams Jr., PhD, entitled “Ho’omana Kukulu Aupuni: Remembering Kauikeaouli and the Construction of the Hawaiian Nation.”

The talk will take place at the King Kamehameha III Elementary School cafeteria from 4 to 6 p.m. and is free and open to the community.

“The mo’olelo of Mo’i Kauikeaouli that has emerged from recent research has completely reformed understandings of his actions and accomplishments,” said Dr. Williams.

“His story uncovers the broader story of Hawaiian historiography, recharacterizing Kanaka ?’Oiwi from docile victims to potent actors. What was accomplished by this native monarch and his people in the early 19th century is one of the greatest mo’olelo in world history.”

A popular lecturer throughout the isles, Dr. Williams holds a doctorate in History with a specialization in Hawaii and native-language resources.

He is a former faculty member of the Hawai’inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and cultural affiliate at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. He has served as president of the Hawaiian Historical Society and is currently Ho’opa’a Ku’auhau (historian) for the community organization Ka ?Ahahui Hawai’i Aloha Aina.

Dr. Williams has published in a wide variety of both academic and community resources, including the Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion in America, the Hawaiian Journal of History, and Hana Hou! Magazine.

“The previous century’s master narrative for Hawaii was sourced from mostly English-language materials -greatly diminishing native voice concerning their own lives and land,” said Dr. Williams.

“New research into the remarkably broad and rich collection of native-language primary resources is adding to and reshaping understandings of a people and their nation.”

A light pupu reception will follow the free lecture. Ample, free onsite parking is available. Vehicles can access the school grounds from the Front Street gates flanking the playground. The main gate to the school will also be open for pedestrians. Look for event directional signs to the cafeteria located on the makai (ocean) side of the campus.

Lahaina Restoraton Foundation preserves and shares Lahaina’s fascinating history through museums, historic sites, tours and cultural events. For more information, contact the foundation at 661-3262 or info@lahainarestoration.org.