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Design released for US quarter honoring late kumu hula Edith Kanakaʻole

2023 American Women Quarters - Edith Kanakaʻole
United States Mint
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2023 American Women Quarters - Edith Kanakaʻole

The design for an upcoming U.S. quarter featuring the late kumu hula Edith Kanakaʻole was released Monday. Five new quarters honoring prominent women in American history will debut in 2023.

The quarter shows the face of Kanakaʻole — adorned with lei poʻo — morphing into a landscape, representing her work to preserve the natural land and Hawaiian culture.

EdithKanakaole.jpg
Courtesy Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation and the Kanakaʻole Family
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Edith Kanakaʻole

It also has the words, “E hō mai ka ʻike,” which translate to "grant us knowledge," according to Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board Chair Carmen "Hulu" Lindsey.

Those are words from a chant she composed, "E Hō Mai" — an oli requesting knowledge and wisdom from ancestral deities.

“She helped preserve and spread Hawaiian language, traditions, and history, contributing so much to the Native Hawaiian community, Hawaiʻi, and our nation. It is fitting that she be honored with this special recognition," U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said in a statement. "I look forward to seeing these quarters put into circulation so that people in every corner of our country can learn more about Edith Kanakaʻole and her remarkable life.”

Kanakaʻole died in 1979.

The other four women to appear on the coin in 2023 are Bessie Coleman, the first African American and first Native American woman pilot; Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady and author; Jovita Idár, the Mexican American journalist and activist; and Maria Tallchief, who was America’s first prima ballerina.

They're part of the United States Mint's American Women Quarters Program. Five quarters will be released each year from 2022 through 2025.

This year, the program has been issuing coins featuring five other women, including poet Maya Angelou and astronaut Dr. Sally Ride.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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