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Kapiʻolani Park

Cover Image: Masthead of Ka Nupepa Kuokoa published on July 10, 1880.

Aloha Nūhou Monday!

The exhibit on the third floor of Hawaiian Hall celebrating the bicentennial of printing in Hawaiʻi continues. We just turned to a new page of Ka Nupepa Kuokoa! One of the articles you will see describes the different races held at the track in Kapiʻolani Park for Kamehameha Day featuring various horse races, a mule race, and even a people race!

Kapiʻolani Park horse races were popular entertainment in the Park’s early days. Here is a short description of another race held there later in the same year.

Image: “Kapiolani Paka,” Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, July 10, 1880, p. 3.

Kapiʻolani Park.—There was horse race entertainment at the track this past Saturday among horses known to be powerhouses, and it was Oliver that was victorious in three straight laps; there was a multitude of people who gathered there.

(Kuokoa, 7/10/1880, p. 3)

King Kalākaua dedicated this royal land as a public space in 1877, naming it in honor of his queen. It was notably popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century hosting polo matches and horse races. Today, the track is no more, however, its large open space remains intact for public use.

Image: “Kahua Heihei Lio o Kapiolani Paka,” Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, June 17, 1904, p. 1

Image: Cyanotype photograph of a horse trotting race in Kapiʻolani Park, ca. 1890. Waikīkī, Hawaiʻi. Bishop Museum Archives. (Cyanotype is a relatively easy monochromatic printing process which originated in the 1840s and produced photographs with the blue tint seen in this image.)

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This post is part of He Aupuni Palapala: Preserving and Digitizing the Hawaiian Language Newspapers, a partnership between Bishop Museum and Awaiaulu with assistance from Kamehameha Schools. Mahalo nui loa to Hawaii Tourism Authority for their support. Learn more about this project here.

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