Enjoy a free Afternoon at Hulihe’e Palace 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 to remember the late Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Presenting hula and serenade by the Merrie Monarchs, the event is part of a year-long series that honors Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.
Princess Bernice Pauahi is most well known as the benefactress of Kamehameha Schools. A great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I, she came of age during the Victorian Era. She was well liked and very private. When her cousin, Kamehameha V, chose her as his successor in 1872, she declined. Her refusal ended the Kamehameha Dynasty.
During her lifetime, the princess witnessed the physical and social decline of Hawaiians. Some foreigners brought disease—the native population dwindled from 400,000 in 1778 to fewer than 45,000 a century later—and controlled most commerce. Missionaries introduced a new value system.
“Distressed by the plight of her people, Princess Pauahi created a will in 1883 as an instrument of change,” says Casey Ballao, Hulihe‘e Palace docent coordinator. “She believed education could be the answer to help her people.”
The document established a charitable land trust overseen by trustees to improve the well being of Hawaiians. It operates as Kamehameha Schools today, one of the largest, private trusts in the nation.
“The will was the princess’s way to malama ka ‘aina—practice the ethical, prudent and culturally appropriate stewardship of land and resources,” adds Ballao.
Pauahi married Charles Reed Bishop in 1850. She and Bishop shared a love for traveling, teaching and entertaining and the couple became astute property managers. When her favorite cousin, Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani died, Pauahi received her entire estate (including Hulihe‘e Palace) and this inheritance comprised the major portion of Pauahi’s landholdings. The princess died a year later in 1884. To honor his wife, Charles founded the Bishop Museum in 1889 to house the royal family heirlooms and her extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts.
Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays. Palace admission, which includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are available starting 10 a.m. to give guided tours. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop can be reached by phoning 329-6558.
Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins. The Daughters was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.
2013 Afternoon at Hulihe‘e schedule: 4-5 p.m. on the palace grounds
All Afternoons at Hulihe’e present hula by Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i Hula Halau and vocals by the Merrie Monarchs. Some events also include the Hulihe’e Palace Band and are noted below. On band dates, only kahiko hula is showcased. Other events offer a full hula show.
- Jan 13: Band appearance remembering King Charles “Lunalilo” and Aunty I‘olani Luahine
- Feb 17: Event remembering Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani
- Mar 17: Band appearance remembering Queen Ka‘ahumanu and Prince Kuhio
- Apr 21: Event remembering Prince Edward Albert
- May 19: Event remembering King Kamehameha IV “Alexander Liholiho”
- Jun 9: Band appearance remembering King Kamehameha I “Paiea”
- Jul 21: Event remembering John Adams Kuakini
- Aug 18: Event remembering King Kamehameha III “Kauikeaouli”
- Sep 15: Band appearance remembering Queen Lili‘uokalani
- Oct 20: Event remembering Princess Ka‘iulani
- Nov 17: Band appearance remembering King Kalakaua, Palace Curator Aunty Lei Collins and Bandmaster Charles “Bud Dant
- Dec 15: Event remembering Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop
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