You can often count on local publications to provide additional color relating to national coins, their designers and subjects. This piece from Hawaii discusses the colorful Edith Kanaka?ole.
The life and legacy of the late cultural icon Edith Ke'kuhikuhiipu'uoneonaali'iokohala Kenao Kanaka?ole was celebrated Saturday on the Big Island with a mural, a U.S. quarter and lots of shared memories of dancing, culture, relationships and connections.
The celebration was held at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, where the Honomu native, known lovingly as Aunty Edith, taught from 1974 to 1979. She created courses and seminars on Hawaiian language, ethnobotany, Polynesian history geneology and Hawaiian chant and mythology.
Kanaka?ole died nearly 44 years ago, at age 65 on Oct. 3, 1979, but she is still beloved for bringing Hawaiian culture, not only as an educator but also as a kumu hula and composer, to the masses.
Now, Kanaka?ole also will be forever part of U.S. history with her very own coin created by the United States Mint, which designs and issues five quarters per year to honor American women whose achievements, triumphs and legacies reflect the strength and resilience of the nation.
The coin shows Aunty Edith with her hair and lei po?o (head lei) morphing into the elements of a Hawaiian landscape, symbolizing her life's work of preserving the natural land and traditional Hawaiian culture. The commemorative quarter also bears an inscription in ?olelo Hawai?i,
e ho mai ka ?ike or
granting the wisdom. The phrase comes from a well-known oli (chant) Kanaka?ole composed that asks for knowledge to be bestowed upon the chanter.
At the celebration, there was a welcoming oli and speeches from representatives from the local and state government, as well as the university, and ho?okupu, or gifts or offerings.
There also was the unveiling of a large mural of Aunty Edith that was created by artist Kamea Hadar. He collaborated the design with Kuha?o Zane, Kanaka?ole?s grandson and creative director at Sig Zane Designs. The mural is on the Hall named after Edith Kanaka?ole at UH Hilo.
Following the presentations, a large crowd of attendees walked around the Edith Kanaka?ole Hall to see several displays in surrounding classrooms with people talking stories, sharing culture and memories, dancing, music and food. There were rooms where Edith's voice and videos were looped.
Also in attendance were local fans, such as Steven Stein, a local coin collector and part of the Big Island Coin Club that has been in existence for 50 years. He said it was
wonderful news to hear Aunty Edith was chosen to be on the coin.
It's about time, he said.
She's an instrumental person of Hawaiian descent.
To read the complete article, see:
Aunty Edith's life celebrated with mural, U.S. quarter and shared stories at UH Hilo
Wayne Homren, Editor
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