Prince Kuhio Day 2013 – UPDATED
Please note: Location of the Molokai Prince Kuhio celebration this Saturday is at Lanikeha in Ho`olehua, not at Kiowea Park as originally noted.
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole was next in line for the throne when the Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1894. Though this was when the Hawaiian monarchy came to an end, it was just the beginning of a lifetime of activism and accomplishments for Prince Kuhio.
Prince Kuhio went to prison for treason as he attempted to restore the monarchy. He left Hawaii after being released from prison, and when he returned, Hawaii was a territory of the U.S. He was elected as Hawaii’s congressional delegate for 10 terms before his death in 1922.
Though he championed for many causes, what he is most honored and remembered for is his work toward the 1920 Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, which provides homesteads for Native Hawaiians through the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.
Kammy Purdy, president of the homestead association Ahapua`a o Molokai, said Molokai is where the Act was first put into practice.
“If it weren’t for the success of homesteads on Molokai, the program wouldn’t still be around,” she said.
Ahupua`a o Molokai and the island’s other homestead associations will honor Prince Kuhio’s 132nd birthday Saturday morning at Lanikeha in Ho`olehua. The public celebration comes three days before the honoree’s actual birthday, which is also a statewide holiday.