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Lā Kūʻokoʻa Celebration, 150 Years Ago.

Cover Image: Masthead of Ka Nuhou Hawaii published on December 2, 1873.

In 1873, a group of young men, the ‘Ahahui ‘Ōpiopio o Hawaiʻi (AOH) decided to have a large public celebration of Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea which had not been recognized among the official kingdom holidays since 1866. After successfully carrying out those plans, their minds quickly moved on to Lā Kūʻokoʻa.

Image: “Recognition of Hawaiian Independence,” The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, November 22, 1874, p. 2

Image: “Ka La Kuokoa” Ka Nuhou Hawaii, December 2, 1873, p. 1

Lā Kūʻokoʻa

The night procession of Thursday, the 27th was handsomely dignified, and with the coming of the morning, that being Friday, the heavens appeared without a cloud. A solemn reverence accompanied the arrival of the day greatly celebrated, the day that was granted through voiced prayer and tears of times past.

At midday, Pūowaina roared forth with its canons, proclaiming the independence of Hawaiʻi nei.

Kawaiahaʻo Church was filled with women and gentlemen of all ranks. The choirs from the two churches, Kaumakapili and Kawaiahaʻo, were gathered. The ʻAhahui ʻŌpiopio o nā Hawaiʻi paraded in and took their seats upon the church pews. At 11:30, the speaker, Hon. Z. Poli arrived, led by the President of the ʻAhahui ʻŌpiopio, Hon. E. Mikalemi, and escorted by Rev. H. H. Parker.

At 2 o’clock, the invited crowd was served food from the table at Pohukaina. Patriotic citizens flocked there.

The festivities of the day were dignified by the arrival at the banquet of the aliʻi wahine Pauahi along with the Ministers.

(Nuhou Hawaii, 12/2/1873, p. 1)

Image: This ticket measuring 3½″ x 2⅛″ (8.7 cm x 5.4 cm) was printed in color by Black & Auld. It allowed entrance into the banquet commemorating Lā Kūʻokoʻa at Pohukaina. The text reads, “Independence Day of Hawaiʻi nei. Nov. 28, 1843. ‘Beautiful flag of Hawaiʻi, May it wave for all times.’ Nov. 18, 1873.” (MS Grp 70 Box

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact .

Image: Portrait of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, New York. ca. 1871. Photo by W. Kurtz, Bishop Museum Archives. SP 39464

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact .

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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