Thousands prepare ahead of overthrow's 125th anniversary
Thousands will commemorate the 125th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom Wednesday. The event, Onipa'a Kakou will start at sunrise. Thats when crowds are expected to fill the grounds of Mauna 'Ala where a number of Hawaii's ali'i have been laid to rest.
Thousands will commemorate the 125th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom Wednesday.
The event, Onipa'a Kakou will start at sunrise. Thats when crowds are expected to fill the grounds of Mauna 'Ala where a number of Hawaii's ali'i have been laid to rest.
Ceremonial protocol will kick off festivities followed by a massive procession and rally at 'Iolani Palace.
Students and staff at University of Hawai'i at Manoa will be among those crowds. Dozens spent the day printing special shirts for the rally. Art major Tita Coloma is the artist behind the shirt's design and says she first turned to music for inspiration.
"Honestly I was going with Braddah Iz. I was just like 'Ok, I'm gonna start with him first, Jon Osorio we're going to work our way down.'
Sudden Rush too. I was like, 'Yes! Sudden Rush got it, add some of that,'" Coloma said.
She took photos of the palace and did her research before settling on a final version. Coloma hopes it'll help strike up conversation about what took place more than a century ago.
"I just wanted them to like the design. But what its also about is having people explain, 'Ok, here. This is what happened on this particular day.' Just always questioning because history is a two-sided coin,"' Coloma said.
For faculty member Kaimana Chock, the anniversary triggers a wave of emotions.
"There is a lot of pain thinking about my kupuna that had to lose everything that they knew at that time. But there's also a lot of pride that 125 years later we're still here. We still remember. We're able to speak our language again. It's really an exciting time for our lahui," Chock said.
For the past week, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has held a series of workshops. Kumu Hina Wong is teaching the public a number of Hawaiian patriotic songs composed before and after the overthrow. Each one will be sung during tomorrow's procession. Wong hopes it'll carry on well after that.
"Our people who have learned this mele will continue to not only cherish it in their hearts but that they will continue to use it to help perpetuate the meaning and the interpretation," Wong said.
Songs that were written in the 1890's after the Monarchy ended are still widely popular today.
Composed in 1893, Kaulana Na Pua expresses the opposition of the annexation of Hawai'i to America. The composer wrote it in honor of the Royal Hawaiian Band. The group's members refused to sign an oath of allegiance to the new government and quit the band.
"We will not sign. We will not put our signatures to the paper of the enemy. We do not value the government's money. We would rather eat stones then sign this document. We back Lili'uokalani," UH Manoa Hawaiian Studies Professor Jon Osorio said.
Loyalty to the queen would remain long after her death.
It's a virtue that would survive the test of time. In 1993, Thousands of Native Hawaiians observed the overthrow's centennial anniversary. And crowds similar to that are expected to gather to pay their respects to the queen again, come Wednesday.
Onipa'a Kakou is free and open to the public. For more information, head over to the "As Seen On" section of KITV.com.