In honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, Kula no na Po`e Hawaii created an education campaign about the life and legacy of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana`ole. Kula staff will teach students from Lincoln and Pauoa Elemenatary, Stenson Middle, and Roosevelt High School this spring. Please enjoy a short summary of Prince Kuhio’s life, taken fromt eh 1992 Kula publication “Ke Ali`i Maka`ainanana: The Citizen Prince.”
Born on March 26, 1871, Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana`ole was born on the island of Kaua`i. He was the son of high chief Kahalepouli and Princess Kinoiki Kekaulike, sister of Queen Kapi`olani. Kuhio was raised in the court of his uncle, King Kalakaua, and attended official functions and receptions at the palace. He was given the title of prince by royal proclamation at the age of 13. He attended Royal School and Punahou College on Oahu followed by St. Matthews’s College in California and the Royal Agricultural College in England, graduating with a business degree.
Kuhio was 21 years old at the time of the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. Two years later during a revolution to reinstate Queen Liliuokalani to the throne, Prince Kuhio was arrested as a political prisoner and spent a year in prison. While in prison, he became engaged to a young chiefess, Elizabeth Kahanu Kaleiwohi-Kaauwai. They were married soon after his release and left for a tour of the world shortly after.
Prince Kuhio returned to the Hawaiian Islands in the fall of 1901. A year later, he accepted the Republican nomination as a Delegate to Congress. He served 10 consecutive terms in Congress from 1903 to 1921. While in Congress, he devoted much thought and energy tohte rehabilitation of the Hawaiian people – a labor of love for him.
During one of his trips home in 1917, Prince Kukhio observed the people of Honolulu and had a desire to create a group of Hawaiians with the intent to educate, elevate, and promote the social, economic, civic, and intellectual state of all Hawaiians. At his home, Pua Leilani in Waikiki, the first Articles of Incorporation were created for the Hawaiian Civic Clubs spread across Hawaii and the mainland states.
Prince Kuhio’s greatest accomplishment was the passage of the Rehabilitation (Hawaiian Homes Commission) Act, a measure which took years of debate on the floor of the House and Senate. This was Kuhio’s desire; to return Hawaiians back to their lands to once again be the self-sufficient people he knew they are and to end the racial extinction of his People. The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act became law on July 9, 1921, less than a year before Prince Kuhio’s death on January 7, 1922.
As of today, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act has created over 30 homestead communities and houses over 40,000 residents across the state of Hawaii. We honor Prince Kuhio and Princess Kahanu’s work and for their lifelong commitment to the rehabilitation and perpetuation of the Hawaiian race and culture.