Learn about Ka‘ahumanu and the office of kuhina nui


When Kamehameha I, founder of the Hawaiian Kingdom, died in May 1819, his favorite (and most political) wife, Ka‘ahumanu, emerged from the hale and proclaimed his dying wish was that she should share the rule of the kingdom — with his heir, Liholiho — as kuhina nui, a co-regent, creating a new office then and there.

All the ali‘i women who had the position after her took the name “Ka‘ahumanu” as a title of office.

The co-regency remained part of the structure of the Hawaiian monarchy until 1864, when Kamehameha V abolished the position with his new constitution.

The Lyman Museum will host a presentation from 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, June 16, by Hawaii historian Boyd D. Bond, who will focus on these important, “other” rulers of the Hawaiian monarchy.

 

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