In Hawaiʻi, summer vacation has officially started. For us, this is the 1st week of our summer session. During our orientation, we show new students around our campuses. During the upper campus (University of Hawai’i at Hilo/UHH) tour, we were able to see Aunty Edithʻs mural for the first time in person. Today, I would like to write about her.
To honor US womenʻs achievements and contributions, the U.S. Mint issues up to 5 new designs each year from 2022-2025. Aunty Edith was chosen as one of the women.
She was born in Honomu on the island of Hawaiʻi (Big Island). Throughout her life, she taught Hawaiian culture, values, traditions, and history. She composed Hawaiian chants and choreographed hula.
She assisted in the first Hawaiian language program development for kids and taught at our college, Hawai’i Community College & the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. (UHH)
The coin says “E hō mai ka ʻike” and it means “granting the wisdoms.”
Per Edith Kanaka’ole Foundation website, it “refers to the intertwined role hula and chants play in this perpetuation of Hawaiian knowledge systems.”
This new mural was painted on the classroom building wall on the UHH campus. The building’s name is Edith Kanakaʻole Hall and you know why they chose this building for the mural. One of the artists who created this mural is Mr. Kūha‘o Zane and he is Aunty Edithʻs grandson.
Also, if you do hula, you may know this already but the stadium where Merrie Monarch Festival happens is called Edith Kanakaʻole Multi-Purpose Stadium. You can tell her great legacy in our community.
Take a look at your quarters. You may have a quarter with Aunty Edithʻs design.