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Daughters of Hawaiʻi on preserving tradition since 1903

The Daughters of Hawaiʻi at ʻIolani Palace.
Catherine Cruz
The Daughters of Hawaiʻi at ʻIolani Palace.
Manu Powers
Courtesy Manu Powers

We conclude our week-long series of the many groups that work to preserve Hawaiʻi history with a look at the Daughters of Hawaiʻi. You may have seen them in their white muʻu. They are charged with caring for two palaces: Hulihe’e in Kona and Queen Emma Summer Palace, or Hānaiakamalama, located in Nuʻuanu.

Founded by seven daughters of missionaries in 1903, the group was out recently to mark the birthday of King Kamehameha III — Kauikeaouli. His birthplace at Keauhou Bay falls under their jurisdiction and they were there to mark a ho’okupu ceremony in his honor on March 17.

The Conversation spoke to Manu Powers, the head of the organization. She is the first millennial named to the post and is believed to be the youngest president in the organization’s history.

"We are in this sort of small niche of cultural preservation. But yet we feel the burden of that work very heavily, and understand that we have to commit to their mission, and to that work and to preserving these traditions of these royal societies and cultural societies for hopefully the foreseeable future," she said.

This interview aired on The Conversation on March 30, 2023. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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