Events set to educate public on overthrow of Hawaiian Kingdom

A lecture, a performance and a display are part of the events that will be held Thursday on the University of Hawaii Maui College lawn fronting Kaahumanu Avenue to commemorate and educate the public about the 120th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom that occurred on Jan. 17, 1893.

Beginning at noon, there will be a display of the Ku’e Petitions from 1897. The petitions are 40,000 signatures that were submitted to U.S. Congress to oppose the annexation of Hawaii to the United States.

Following Thursday, the petitions will be displayed during normal campus hours from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the showing concluding at noon Saturday.

At 5 p.m., there will be the symbolic raising of the Hawaiian flag by the Royal Hawaiian Guards.

At 5:30 p.m., there will be a re-enactment of “The Queen’s Women,” written by Didi Lee Kwai. An announcement said the event will create an “experience” of what it was like for kupuna (elders) to participate in the signing of the 1897 Ku’e Petition. The actors will be part of the audience.

At 7 p.m., Ron Williams, an instructor of Hawaiian studies at UH-Manoa, will deliver a talk titled “Kani I Ka Po,” or “resound in the darkness.”

The lecture will explore the history of Hawaii’s past told through a way to silence the voices of its native people, the announcement said. It will feature how native voices today are coming forward to tell the history of Native Hawaiian lives, land and nation.

The Hawaiian Kingdom was overthrown in 1893 when a group of white businessmen forced Queen Lili’uokalani to abdicate her throne. Meanwhile, U.S. Marines came ashore. Until Congress declared it a U.S. territory in 1898, Hawaii was a republic. An islandwide electorate voted for Hawaii to become a state in June 1959 and, statehood became official in August of that year.

Thursday’s events are being sponsored by the UH-MC Hawaiian Studies Program and Ka Pu’uhonua o ‘Iao.

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