Hulihe’e Event Remembers Palace Builder John Adams Kuakini

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and Calabash Cousins present Afternoon at Hulihe‘e 4 p.m. Sunday, July 21 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember the late John Adams Kuakini. Enjoy the voices of the Merrie Monarchs and Hawaiian performing arts by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua Ui O Hawai‘i.

 Kuakini, 1791-1844. Governor of Hawaii Island. Original sketch by Rev. William Ellis (Hawaii State Archives)

John Adams Kuakini, 1791-1844,  Governor of Hawaii Island.
Original sketch by Rev. William Ellis (Hawaii State Archives)

Afternoon at Hulihe‘e is part of the palace’s series of free monthly events that honor Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

Kuakini was a cousin to Kamehameha I and governor of Hawai’i Island. A Russian explorer, Captain Otto von Kotzebue, described Kuakini in 1816 as a “herculean figure.”

“Kuakini first built Moku‘aikaua Church, finishing in 1837,” details Casey Ballao, Hulihe‘e docent coordinator. “That same year, he started construction on Hulihe‘e, with the excavation of the cellar. Kuakini employed craftsman and laborers that had jumped sailing ships to build his grand home and it was completed in 1838. It was a great source of pride.”

Kuakini didn’t enjoy his mansion for long; he died at the age of 54 in 1844. His obituary stated he was “the sole survivor of the iron-hearted chiefs that constituted the household of Kamehameha I.”

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for docent-guided and self-guided tours. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; with the exception of the palace open 1-4 p.m. the Monday following the monthly Kokua Kailua Village stroll.  Palace admission for a self-guided tour is $8 for adults, $6 for kama‘aina, military and seniors, and $1 for keiki 18 years and under. Docent-guided tours are available upon request. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop, open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i. The organization 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.

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