HONOLULU (KHON2) — In celebration of Edith Kanakaʻole’s United States mint quartet, the late Hawaiian icon is being recognized in a big way.
Artist Kamea Hadar is creating this mural on the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo campus where she taught ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian language) in the 1970s.
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He is collaborating with Kanakaʻole’s grandson to honor her contribution to the university’s Hawaiian language program.
The quarter features the educator, and the kumu hula will be celebrated on Saturday, May 6 at UH Hilo starting at 10 a.m.
In March 2022, the U. S. Mint said Edith Kanakaʻole is one of the five American women that will be minted on new quarters as part of the 2023 honorees for the American Women Quarters Program.
Coin Makers of America chose Kanakaʻole to be recognized since her efforts in preserving Native Hawaiian knowledge, serving the Hawaiian community and applying a new lens to academic science were of tremendous value to Native Hawaiians and for U. S. history.
“She was a renowned practitioner of, and an authority on, modern Hawaiian culture and language,” said Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson. “Edith Kanakaʻole believed that the oli, or Hawaiian chants, formed the basis of Hawaiian values and history.”
Kanaka’ole passed in 1978 and is remembered for being an indigenous Hawaiian composer, chanter, dancer, teacher and entertainer.
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“This is an unbelievable honor for our family, for our body of work at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation in carrying on her legacy and her teachings, for our home and for our people,” said Kanaka‘ole’s granddaughter and Executive Director of the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation Huihui Kanahele-Mossman, Ph.D.