Drawing: Hiram Bingham preaching at Waimea, Oahu to H.M. Queen Kaahumanu and others
Hauoli La Hanau e H. M. Queen Kaahumanu!

Kuhina Nui, Political Tactician, Surfer, & Convert, H. M. Queen Elizabeth Kaahumanu was born on March 17th, 1768.

H.M. Queen Kaahumanu was both figuratively and literally a giant of a woman. Most know H.M. Queen Kaahumanu from her portraits done much later in her life when her health was fading and she had put on quite a bit of weight. However, at her peak, she stood at over 6 foot, and was known to be a skilled and avid surfer.

Her zealous conversion to Christianity by American missionaries, led to serious changes in our young country. In fact, she and H.M. Queen Keopuolani worked together to break the Ai Kapu, or eating restriction, and in doing so forced H.M. King Kamehameha II Liholiho to abolish the Kapu System entirely or face putting them to death. As Kuhina Nui, which in her time meant Co-Ruler/Regent, she also instituted a ban on Catholic missionaries per the advice of the American missionaries who had converted her.

H.M. Queen Kaahumanu was a ruthless and cunning political tactician. After H.M. King Kamehameha I’s death, she in conjunction with H.M. King Kamehameha II Liholiho kidnapped Kaumualii, High Chief of Kauai, forcing him to marry her. Later she did the same with his son Kealiiahonui when his brother Humehume attempted and failed a Kauai rebellion. She also worked on one of the first free trade agreements with H.M. King Kamehameha III Kauikeaouli and the United States, giving American business access to all Hawaii ports.

Our country and citizens deserve a calendar that celebrates our Nation and its diverse beauty. In 2019, we will be sharing many more significant dates that we hope will be representative of who we are as a Nation. If we miss something please forgive us as this is a work in progress!

*Two important factors: H.M. Queen Kaahumanu’s day of birth was chosen by the Kaahumanu Society as the specific date is unknown. Her birthday, along with 2 other royal birthdays, fell on a Sunday in 2019 but we wanted to share informative biography posts throughout the week so no one was overlooked. These should rightfully be marked as National Holidays. As such, most National Holidays so close to a work day would be declared a day off or part of a long holiday.*