Hōkūleʻa Joins the Centennial Tribute to Queen Liliʻuokalani

Liliʻuokalani was not only a political leader, but a cultural one, composing many songs beloved and sung to this day, including the iconic “Aloha ʻOe.” (Photo courtesy Polynesian Voyaging Society)

In honor of Queen Liliʻuokalani, Hōkūleʻa this morning set sail along the southern shoreline of Oʻahu to join in an observance ceremony shared across the island chain.

At around 8:30 am, Hōkūleʻa was faced toward the direction of Iolani Palace, Kawaiahaʻo and Washington Place and her sails were lowered. At this moment, double rainbows appeared on the horizon–with crew members recognizing it as hoʻailona (a sign from nature affirming righteousness). From the deck of the waʻa, a was blown 100 times followed by an oli to the Queen. The Queen’s prayer was recited and songs composed by the Queen were sung including “Aloha ʻOe.” Crew members also took a moment to share what the Queen means to them personally.


On November 11, 1917, people across Hawai‘i mourned for the loss of their last reigning monarch, Queen Liliʻuokalani. Upon hearing of her passing, church bells rang across the pae moku, traditional laments left the mouths of the family, friends, supporters, and loyal subjects signifying the loss of an aliʻi nui.

Today, on the centennial anniversary of her death at 8:30 am, over 200 churches across the island chain sounded their bells to honor the Queen, just as it happened 100 years ago at the announcement made at the exact hour by Court Chamberlain Colonel Curtis Iaukea. The day was filled with the sounds of church bells, pahu, oli and kanikau from every mokupuni. Church bells tolled 100 times, pahu sounded 100 times, 100 pū were blown, 100 ‘ōlapa danced in the Queen’s honor.

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[This post appeared originally on hokulea.com.]