Monday, December 28, 2009

A Gift from A Friend - Kathryn Dragas, Understanding Ka'iulani's Legacy

While looking into the face of my brave and beautiful friend, I am reminded of her urging that the words of Ka'iulani must be heard. Kathryn would be brought to tears, while explaining that she wanted this for her little girl, whom she soon would bring into the world. Our long talks of her plans for the future were so full, so detailed, so bright. Day after day, she made me promise that this would happen, then flash her big smile with a "Yeah, go girl!" She encouraged this project and stressed what it meant to her, as a new mother. Kathryn saw Princess Ka'iulani of Hawaii as a role model and heroine for the little life growing inside of her, and believed that the story of Ka'iulani could empower the lives of many young women. At times, when I felt unequipped to carry this project through, my dear Kathryn was full of encouraging words.

Kathryn Gayle Lawrence Dragas, 40, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009. A native of Norfolk, Virginia, she was the daughter of the late Gayle Zydron Battaglia. Among others, she is survived by her husband Bill Dragas, her brother and his wife, John and Lynelle Lawrence, and her father, Robert N. Lawrence. Kathryn was an authentic woman of high principals, and spent her life serving the welfare of children, as a dedicated occupational therapist at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughter for 14 years.

Kathryn was a great friend, with a full heart for all who knew her. Her love and support was given, selflessly. In Hawaii, she cared for the wildlife and watched over the rare monk seals of the islands. We will remember how much love and beauty Kathryn brought to our lives and will keep her in our hearts. I know how helpless and lost we all feel and can only pray that peace and love will find all of us who loved her. Thank you for your friendship Kathryn, it was one of the greatest gifts any of us could have received.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Facebook Connection to Kaiulani Project

Two days ago we set up the Princess Ka'iulani Project Facebook page.
In order to access the page you must be registered on Facebook. To do this, go to

It is another way to communicate with, and contribute information to the The Ka'iulani Project.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Long Term Goals for the Project

Aside from the goal of bringing Ka'iulani's life story to the stage and screen, the goal of the project has been to bring Princess Ka'iulani back into the minds of young people today. In 2002, we started by contacting the Hawaiian organizations in Oahu to aid in our research. These include Daughters of Hawaii, The Hawaiian Historical Society, Hawaii State Archives at Iolani Palace, and The Hawaiian Collection at UH Manoa Library, among others. The Maui Academy of Performing Arts was part of the plans from an early date in 2003.

The reason we shelved three years of work on a film script, was because we felt it was important that Hawaii and Hawaiians be part of bringing this production to fruition. The only way to ensure that, was to write a stage production that would be cast and premiered in Hawaii.
After years of informal dialogues teaching friends the importance of this young Hawaiian, many joined us in the formal presentation of the script to the Island of Maui.

The film project will be resumed after the premiere of the stage production.

We would like to see Ka'iulani's name and inspirational life aid those whom she cared for and was trying to protect. The young people of Hawaii.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ka'iulani Project Experience

When starting on this journey (naively) in 2002, I thought all would go smoothly. Friends would support our efforts to learn about, and make public, the largely undocumented accomplishments of a young girl who lived in the last century. Why not? What could be simpler? What I expected? I was mistaken.

The journey since then, has been sometimes more rewarding, and other times, more disheartening than I could possibly have imagined.

I avoid discussing difficulties on this blog, and continue with the work, but today my friend Kathryn Dragas suggested that I do. Kathryn sees Ka'iulani as an inspiration for her soon to be baby girl. So, quite simply, I find the actions of some parties confusing. Talk of Ka'iulani and her accomplishments is striking such chords with some people - they find it offensive some way, to acknowledge Ka'iulani as a heroine. I hope that those who took offense at the mention of Ka'iulani's heroism, consider how they might feel if we disregarded their achievements after their passing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kawaiaha'o remains of Hawaiian Ali'i

In response to Ka Wai Ola article by Liza Simon - Decision clears way for Kawaiaha'o lawsuit

"...Kawānanakoa's lawsuit also asks that construction of the church's new hall be stopped..
69 sets of human skeletal remains were unearthed earlier this year during sewer line trenching for the church project...desecrated the graves of her ali'i ancestors during the construction of a new multipurpose center on the church's property in downtown Honolulu...
"We are first and foremost Christians and this building project is essential for our mission in the 21st century...The money we had to even start the project was made possible by Kahu Akaka," he said, referring to the late Rev. Abraham Akaka, who served as pastor of historic Kawaiaha'o Church for three decades. "We are trying to carry on the legacy of being a place of worship in downtown Honolulu."..."

Is There Really Any Question that this is a Burial Ground? And what about a solution - would it be acceptable to construct a mausoleum on site?

Friday, October 16, 2009

What We Did on Her Birthday

After receiving an email and phone call about a recent newspaper article about Ka'iulani - close friends who thought The Ka'iulani Project might have an opinion - This was sent in.
In response to October 15th Maui Time article about Ka'iulani

I thank Maui Time for writing about Princess Ka'iulani. Although the facts in the article are true, I hope in future articles about her life, that we also hear about her drive and commitment to set the record straight in America. Ka'iulani was not the weak withering flower as she has often been thought of. Ka'iulani's childhood was comprised of swimming far out into the breakers of Waikiki, surfing for hours on end, and studying the ancient martial arts of Lua.

Re: "(To be fair, journalists and cartoonists of the day could not have easily anticipated the poise and enchantment of Ka'iulani)", The journalists were describing Hawaiian royals as "barbarians" and "ignorant children unable to rule themselves". Where do you suppose this information came from - it did come from somewhere. I don't believe in being fair to people who print or supply, information that is libel. I believe it's important to speak of Ka'iulani's achievement loudly and proudly. She achieved a great thing. By traveling to America and facing these lies head on, she forever changed the world's view of the Hawaiian people. She wasn't strong enough at the end, however, to take on these arrogant men who helped themselves to her future.
More information about Ka'iulani:
Aloha nui, Jennifer

Happy Birthday Ka'iulani

The Princess Ka'iulani Project
Celebrating the Life of Hawaiian Crown Princess
Victoria Kawekiu I Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Ka‘iulani Cleghorn

On her birthday, October 16th 1875, the Hawaiian Nation celebrated. The city of Honolulu was alive with the sound of church bells ringing, to celebrate her royal birth as the highest born alii of her generation.

Our goal is to raise awareness of existing works about Ka'iulani, and encourage more. Please email your website or publication in order to set up links to and from The Ka'iulani Project website. We encourage communication between those who research the life of the princess.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Storybook Theatre of Hawaii & The Princess Ka'iulani Project - In Kauai

The Ka'iulani Project raises funds for Storybook Theatre of Hawaii on Sunday, November 8th.
Mark Jeffers, Executive Director of Storybook Theatre hosts The Ka'iulani Project from Maui, to present an afternoon of Hawaiian and Scottish Music, History and Theatre - A Celebration of Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn. About the Ka'iulani Project, Mark says, "I am happy that you have undertaken this mission of communicating the story of PK throughout your travels. She was so well loved and admired in her lifetime and yes, her story has not been told very much. Few children in Hawaii schools know about her."
For the past five years, Mark and Storybook Theatre have honored Princess Ka'iulani by portraying her in their Kauai Keiki Story Festival. Last year, she rode into the event on horseback, and led a children's parade through town. Storybook is now in the process of picking their Ka'iulani for this year's activities.
The girl who is chosen, will take part in the Ka'iulani Project Presentation with Ka'iulani advocate and researcher, Jennifer Fahrni. Anyone interested in being part of the upcoming theatre production, "Ka'iulani, The Island Rose" are encouraged to attend the presentation. If you will be in Kauai and would like to take part in the presentaion, please notify Storybook Theatre of Hawaii. More information to come.
Storybook Theatre of Hawaii
3814 Hanapepe Rd.
PO Box 820
Hanapepe, HI 96716
Phone: (808) 335-0712

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spreading the Word

I am happy when friends quote the words of The Ka'iulani Project. In fact has been our goal to educate friends and be generous with research and information, as well as sharing future plans and goals, so that others may decide to join our efforts and spread the word. When you do, it helps us if you add some kind of reference.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ka'iulani's Birthday - 'Barbarian Princess' to Premiere in Honolulu - Harsh Title? Yes

The controversial film about Princess Ka'iulani, shot in part at 'Iolani Palace, is going to be showcased Oct. 16 at the Hawaii International Film Festival.
I am surprised, but yes, after much debate, producers decided that it will be called "Barbarian Princess" in stark contrast to who she was. Many of us have been under the impression that a new title was in the works after the protests in April of last year. Because of much confusion, please let me be clear: this is a different film script from "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose" - a different production company altogether. Read about our Ka'iulani Project and her upcoming Birthday Festival - Lahaina Royal Ho'ike.
I can't comment on their script, as I haven't read it. However, I do believe that their point in using the word 'barbarian', is to illustrate just how wrong the American newspapers were back in 1893. The fact that Ka'iulani was referred to as a barbarian in newspapers (which she was), confirms the fact that the US was receiving incorrect information about both Queen Liliuokalani and Princess Ka'iulani. It was humiliating for Ka'iulani then, and it's agonizing for us today, to hear the word 'barbarian' in association with this beautiful soul. The point is, Ka'iulani was the antithesis of a barbarian - a "flower of civilization" with an education of the highest order - that is the point the film makers are trying to make.
Many people in Hawaii, however, are concerned that the ironic title will be too easily misunderstood, and that the world won't 'get it'.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Setting the Record Straight - Princess Ka'iulani Festival

Many people are under the impression that they will see a Ka'iulani Project Presentation at the upcoming festival in Maui. I have received emails from folks who believe we will be there. Apparently for the past year, our information was used on our friend's 'seeking sponsors page' for this years Princess Ka'iulani festival. Readers have asked us, if by sponsoring the upcoming festival, The Ka'iulani Project will receive funding through it.

Answers: There will not be a Ka'iulani Project Presentation at this year's festival. Organizers have chosen a different speaker, who is acclaimed in his own right. The Ka'iulani Project will not be there and will not receive funding through donations made to the Festival. I've been told that our information has now come off their website.

Enjoy the day, and let's ensure that good karma is maintained in any event that bears her name.

The next Ka'iulani Project will be in Kauai, November 8th, where we will be raising funds for Storybook Theatre of Hawaii, who is hosting the event. As always, an educational event recounting Ka'iulani's untold heroism and celebrating the friendship between her Hawaiian and Scottish cultures.

After the fact: Vendor, Hamish of Maui Celtic, said he will independently donate a portion of all sales to The Ka'iulani Project and our production of "Ka'iulani, The Island Rose". Hamish is the Scottish Ambassador for The Ka'iulani Project - he took Ka'iulani's story to Scotland earlier this year. He has also been asked to co-host The Princess Ka'iulani Festival.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Upcoming Newspaper article - Princess Ka'iulani's heroic story

We've been asked to write an article about Princess Ka'iulani and the Ka'iulani Project for a Canadian newspaper.
We ask you to be a part of voices from Hawaii - Let us know:

1. if and why you think Ka'iulani's voice is still important in Hawaii today

2. if (for you) the Ka'iulani Project or "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose" has shed a new light on who she was.

Any comments about Ka'iulani will be welcome.
Comments may be used in the article.

For the latest information on The Ka'iulani Project

Visit the website to see our
latest articles in Smithsonian Magazine, Lahaina News and others, as well as recent news of taking Ka'iulani's heroic story back to her father's homeland.

Comments may be written below or emailed to

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ka'iulani aspired to he a model queen, with modern ideas...

Research continues; this interview of a friend of the Cleghorn family states the Princess's situation clearly. Colonel MacFarlane speaks about Ka'iulani's weak heart and strong convictions:

After being asked if Princess Ka'iulani's heart condition was hereditary:
"The heart weakness," said the colonel, slowly, "was the result of shock; the direct consequence of the blow that struck the young girl of scarce 19 when a cablegram announced that her promised kingdom had been wrenched away from her. It was utterly unanticipated and she never got over it. Till then she had taken little notice of the politics of the hour; all her energies had been concentrated on study, on qualifying for the queenly role she was to assume upon her aunt's demise.
She aspired to he a model queen, with modern ideas; to rule her people for their happiness, welfare and progress; to convert her small kingdom into a worthy little sister of the more advanced kingdoms of our day. Her whole life had been devoted to this end."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Princess Ka'iulani's Story Returns to Scotland

LAHAINA NEWS - MAUI - Aug. 20 2009
Scottish Ambassador to The Ka'iulani Project and owner of the local business and cultural organization Maui Celtic, Hamish Burgess recently represented Hawaii Scots at "The Gathering" in Edinburgh, Scotland. The event was the centerpiece of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a year long series of events aimed at bringing folks of Scottish heritage back to their homeland. As Scottish Ambassador for The Princess Ka'iulani Project, Burgess took the story of Hawaii's most beloved Hawaiian/Scot, Victoria Ka'iulani Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kawekiu I Lunalilo Cleghorn, Crown Princess of Hawaii, back to her father's homeland. Burgess was a featured guest on Liz Clark's show "Travels with your Aunti," on Celtic Music Radio Scotland and broadcasting icon Archie Fisher's "Travelling Folk" show on BBC Radio Scotland, both in Glasgow. Photo: Hamish Burgess at Clan Convention in Scottish Parliament. Read full article...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Princess Ka'iulani in Scotland

As Scottish Ambassador for The Princess Ka’iulani Project, Hamish Burgess took the story of Hawaii’s most beloved Hawaii/Scot, Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn back to her father’s (Archibald Scot Cleghorn) homeland. Hamish was asked to speak about the Princess and the Hawaii/Scotland connection when he was a featured guest on both Liz Clark’s show “Travels with your Auntie” on Celtic Music Radio Scotland, and on Archie Fisher’s Traveling Folk on BBC Scotland, both in Glasgow. To hear BBC Scotland show, go to Link and click "listen now' - available until August 6th, 2009. For Hamish's segment go 37 minutes into the show.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ka'iulani Celebrates Statehood?

It is interesting that Ka`iulani be chosen to celebrate Statehood at the Honolulu Symphony. I'm sure it is a spectacular piece of music and I would love to hear it, however I can only think of how wonderful it be for her music to celebrate the anniversary of Iolani Palace, The Bishop Museum, Kamehameha Schools, Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Elementary School, Daughters of Hawaii...

Honolulu Symphony Unveils 2009-2010 Halekulani MasterWorks Season Featuring Light Classics, Exciting Premieres, and Mostly Mozart - Princess Kaiulani Suite Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2 Debussy: La Mer Celebrate Hawaii's 50th Anniversary of Statehood with Stephen Warbeck's Princess Ka`iulani Suite from the upcoming film.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ka'iulani Project on Kauai with Storybook Theatre of Hawaii - Sunday, October 8th

The next Princess Ka'iulani Events will be on the island of Kauai Sunday, October 8th. This morning I received these words from Mark Jeffers, Executive Director of Storybook Theatre of Hawaii on Kauai:
"I am happy that you have undertaken this mission of communicating the story of PK throughout your travels. She was so well loved and admired in her lifetime and yes, her story has not been told very much. Few children in Hawaii schools know about her."
However, for the past 5 years, Mark and Storybook Theatre have portrayed Princess Ka'iulani in their Kauai Keiki Story Festival. Last year she rode into the event on horseback, and led the children's parade through town. This year, their event will be held at Kukui Grove Shopping Center, Saturday, October 24.
Mark and I will be communicating about possibly producing a Ka'iulani Project Event in Kauai for November. - See photos and details about the event.

Annexation done by an end-run on law - Maui News, June 18, 2009

The following was posted in the Maui News by James Ballao of Wailuku:
The July 17, 1893, Blount report and the Oct. 18, 1893, Gresham report established American participation in the Kingdom of Hawaii's overthrow through the command of Minister John L. Stevens.
After a review of reports and the personal appearance Dec. 18, 1893, of Princess Victoria Ka'iulani, American President Grover Cleveland ordered Sanford B. Dole to dissolve the Provisional Government and restore Queen Lili'uokalani. Dole refused!... 'Read Full Maui News Article'.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Video: Wilmont Kahaialii, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas at The MACC

See Video Clip: Ka'iulani Project - Wilmont Kahaialii, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas at the Maui Arts Cultural Center - Alasdair Fraser, a musician of unsurpassed eloquence, passion and energy, and credited with some of the most memorable music solos in cinema today including "The Last of The Mohicans" and "Titanic", was honored to play this Hawaiian / Scottish tribute to one of Hawaii's most beloved heroines.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Elementary School - Honoring Ka'iulani

Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Elementary School, in Honolulu, which was built in the last year of her life, has been honoring the Princess for over 100 years. In 1999, the school celebrated it's 'Centennial'. Students regularly take part in the Princess Ka'iulani Hula Festival each year in Waikiki. As well as housing a life portrait of Ka'iulani, which was given to the school by Ka'iulani's father, Archibald Cleghorn, the students have been honoring their Princess in their own ways. Mindi Reid, who recently visited the school said, "There are many other wonderful paintings and artistic representations of Ka'iulani at the school, including a large outdoor mural, and an amazing tiled wall which includes a poem about the Princess which brings tears to the eyes...; it was written by sixth graders back in the 1970s, which makes its sophistication all the more remarkable."
Despite impoverished circumstances and the most challenging demographics, Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Elementary School has accomplished great things. This award-winning school is deserving of greater aid from the community.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Princess Ka'iulani in The Smithsonian

A month or two ago I was interviewed by a reporter who was writing an article about Princess Ka'iulani for The Smithsonian Magazine. After a couple of phone discussions stressing the importance of letting young Hawaiians today hear how Ka'iulani spoke up for her people, I've recieved news just today that it's printed! I thank Janet Hulstrand for helping us spread the word of Ka'iulani's achievements. Others interviewed for the article include DeSoto Brown, archivist at Hawaii’s Bishop Museum and Sharon Linnea, author of Princess Ka’iulani: Hope of a Nation, Heart of a People. Smithsonian Magazine - Ka'iulani: Hawaii's Island Rose, May 2009.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Congratulations to Maui's Sacred Hearts Student

Congratulations Teak... at our last meeting, David Johnston told me of an article that appeared in the Maui News about a Maui schoolgirl who won a competition for her essay on Princess Ka'iulani at Hawai'i State History Day. Along with Amanda Black and Jamie Olsen, who researched Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in America to graduate from medical school, Teak McAfee has qualified for National History Day to be held June 14 to 18 at the University of Maryland in College Park. Congratulations girls!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Actors/Readers/Kumu hula - Workshop

We are arranging a "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose" workshop with interested actor/readers and kumu hula. If you are interested in the process and would like to be a reader, comment, email or facebook me or call Carolyn at Maui Academy of Performing Arts 808-244-8760. It will be next Thursday evening, April 30.
For a brief history of her story go to The Kaiulani Project 'About Ka'iulani' Page.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ka'iulani's Untold Story Makes an Impression

The Hawaiian Scottish Association and The Caledonian Society of Hawaii have both greatly honored the memory of Ka'iulani. Dan Peddie, Chieftain of the HSA invited The Ka'iulani Project to present the emotional story of Ka'iulani's life on stage at the opening of the Hawaiian/Scottish Festival last weekend. Photo left: Leilani Kupahu-Marino as Ka'iulani. Right: Leilani with Kimo Kaho'ano, Brian Dinsmore and Jennifer Fahrni.
We thank Dan, Mary Peddie, Julie Bliss-Tyau and all members of the HSA for their concern and support of this project. Photo below: Hawaiian-born bagpiper Jake Kaio and Scottish-born Maui bagpiper, Hamish Burgess.
Many audience members were deeply moved by this Hawaiian-Scottish story and expressed their feelings to us after the presentation - this continued over the next few days. Also, thank you to Jill Cullinan at Princess Kaiulani Fashions for sponsoring and donating Princess Ka'iulani's gown for the event. For details of the event go to The Kaiulani Project Events Page.
The Caledonian Society of Hawaii, who have been honoring Ka'iulani for many years, also chose to focus on how Ka'iulani lived her life and remember her for her her vibrance and courageous efforts during her lifetime. Speaking for Ka'iulani, at the Royal Mauloleum in the Chapel at Mauna 'Ala, was a great honor. Many thanks to Bruce McEwan and all those who joined us for the tribute in this most sacred spot.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ka'iulani Project Opens The Hawaiian Scottish Festival in Waikiki

The 28th Annual Hawaiian Scottish Festival and Games is now less than a week away. It hosts The Ka'iulani Project on the weekend of April 4th and 5th in Waikiki. Hawaiian actor and long time host of The Merrie Monarch Festival, Kimo Kaho'ano will represent David Kalakaua, with Leilani Kupahu-Marino representing Princess Ka'iulani and Brian Dinsmore as her father, Archibald Cleghorn in The Ka'iulani Project Presentation with Jennifer Fahrni, opening the Festival in Queen Kapi'olani Park.
Hawaiian and Scottish solo pipers, Jake Kaio and Hamish Burgess will mark the beginning of The Ka'iulani Project presentation with a bagpipe salute. Having the presentation in Queen Kapi'olani Park is very appropriate as Ka'iulani's father Archibald Cleghorn was lead landscaper for the park and became known as Hawaii's 'Father of Parks'. Above photos: Jennifer Fahrni, Leilani Kupahu-Marino and Kimo Kaho'ano. Below: Princess Kaiulani Project presenters with Maui Bagpiper, Hamish Burgess and Oahu piper Jake Kaio.
The Ka'iulani Project Oahu presentation, which includes a history of Princess Ka'iulani Cleghorn's untold heroism, and short segments from the original script, "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose" written by Fahrni and Carol Harvie-Yamaguchi, opens the festival on the large stage at 11:30am on Saturday April 4th. It will be followed immediately by the Parade and Opening Ceremony. This new play challenges us to examine the prejudices and misunderstandings that tear us apart, and her story compels us to embrace diversity as the foundation upon which we build our greatness. Producers are already seeking kumu hula and scouting actors to fill the roles of the great musical Kalakaua family and perhaps, most importantly, the lead role of Ka'iulani for the large scale production to premiere in Hawaii. Photo above right: Hawaiian piper, Jacob Kaio and Scottish piper, Hamish Burgess at Mauna 'Ala, Nuuanu.
For details of the event go to The Kaiulani Project Events Page.
Mindi Reid contacted me about Kumu Mapuana and Kihei de Silva. She told me that Kihei wrote an utterly brilliant piece about a hula in Ka'iulani's honor (I Mauna Lahilahi)..."Those Darned Traditionalists". It's an essay all should read, as it bears on a little talked about time in Ka'iulani's life, presenting her in a truly Hawaiian context. For those who join Mindi and I on this journey, here's the link:
I hope to contact them for their input to the production.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tribute to Princess Ka'iulani at the Royal Mausoleum, Nuuanu

On Thursday April 2nd, 2009 - Annual Tribute to Princess Ka'iulani at the Royal Mausoleum in Nuuanu Valley, Oahu. Organized by The Caledonian Society of Hawaii. I've been invited to speak about Ka'iulani at the memorial in the church of The Royal Mausoleum, which was originated by Kamehameha IV and his wife, Queen Emma. This is the most sacred burial ground on the island of Oahu. As well as for Ka'iulani and her immediate family, the site serves as the resting place for King Kamehameha II through V, King Kalakaua, and Queen Liliuokalani. Photo above: Scottish dancers honor Ka'iulani at last year's tribute.

Princess Ka'iulani was heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii at the time of the illegal overthrow of the monarchy. Princess Ka'iulani (October 16, 1875 – March 6, 1899) was half Hawaiian (her mother being Princess, Miriam Likelike) and half Scottish (her father was entrepreneur, Archibald Cleghorn, last Royal Governor of Oahu). Champion Hawaiian bagpiper Jacob Kaio plays the pipes for the Ka'iulani Memorial every year. Hamish Burgess of Maui Celtic will also be there.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Elementary School - A note from Mindi Reid about much needed aid.

This is a note I recently received this important letter from Mindi Reid about much needed aid for a school in Ka'iulani's name:
Aloha e Jennifer, I wanted to mention something to all of you involved in the Ka'iulani Project... something I think is important, as we serve to honor all those who have dedicated themselves to perpetuating Ka'iulani's story: there really should be some serious attention paid to the plight of the school named for the Princess... Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Elementary School, in Honolulu.
The school, while being amongst the most impoverished and struggling, is home to the only known portrait from the life of the Princess, and continues to honor her legacy in many unique ways. (There are also many other wonderful paintings and artistic representations of Ka'iulani at the school, including a large outdoor mural, and an amazing tiled wall which includes a poem about the Princess which brings tears to the eyes...; it was written by sixth graders back in the 1970s, which makes its sophistication all the more remarkable.)
But the school needs help, particularly in these hard times. The school was already under construction in 1898, so the Princess may have known of it - although she wouldn't know that it would be named in her honor a month after her passing. Archibald Cleghorn gave the life portrait of the Princess to Ka'iulani School himself before he died.
The present principal, Thomas Moon, is a wonderful man and I have had a number of conversations with him: he has such a heart for the heritage of the school, but it is an unbelievably difficult task to meet all its many needs, particularly with the ever-changing demographics and severe poverty of most of its keiki haumana.

I believe the Ka'iulani Project can be a truly great force for good as it grows and develops... and it will reach out to the community in new and unexpected ways. Drawing attention to and honoring Ka'iulani's namesake school should certainly be part of that process.
In friendship always, Mindi

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Ka'iulani Project at the 28th Annual Hawaiian/Scottish Festival in Honolulu

The Ka'iulani Project has been asked to the 28th Annual Hawaiian/Scottish Festival and Games in Honolulu on the weekend of April 4th and 5th in Waikiki.
Hawaiian actor and long time host of The Merrie Monarch Festival, Kimo Kaho'ano will represent David Kalakaua, with Leilani Kupahu-Marino representing Princess Ka'iulani Cleghorn in The Ka'iulani Project Presentation with Jennifer Fahrni, at the Festival, which takes place in Queen Kapi'olani Park.
Hawaiian and Scottish solo pipers, Jake Kaio and Hamish Burgess will mark the beginning of The Ka'iulani Project presentation with a bagpipe salute. Having the presentation in Queen Kapi'olani Park is appropriate as Ka'iulani's father Archibald Cleghorn was lead landscaper for the park and became known as Hawaii's 'Father of Parks'. Above photos: Kimo Kahoano on air, Leilani Kupaho-Marino as Ka'iulani.
The Ka'iulani Project presentation, which includes a history of Princess Ka'iulani Cleghorn's untold heroism, and short segments from the original script, "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose" written by Fahrni and Harvie-Yamaguchi, opens the festival on the large stage Saturday April 4th, and will be followed immediately by the Parade and Opening Ceremony. The play will be produced as a large-scale stage production which will premiere in Hawaii. We're already scouting actors to fill the roles of the great musical Kalakaua family. photo: Hawaiian piper, Jacob Kaio and Scottish piper, Hamish Burgess in Nuuanu.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Keep on trucking

When producing any project, but certainly a project like this, there are highs and lows. Last night was a low. There will be another delay in the production because of a lack of funding. The times of the day with financial ruin all around us, must push us forward. Instead of giving up, we must become even more creative. We will continue to tell her story.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kristin Zambucka and the Bronze plaque

For anyone who is interested in Ka'iulani, one of the first books you should pick up is Princess Ka'iulani of Hawai'i, The Monarchy's Last Hope, written by Kristin Zambucka. Today Kristin sent me a lovely email in support of the Project and mentioned the bronze plaque she designed and had erected on the spot of Ainahau (Ka'iulani's
home) in Waikiki.
A state funded building for low rental apartments was to be built on the site of Ka'iulani's family home, but when Kristin pointed out to the developers that there should be some marker
for this special spot, they donated a concrete stand for the plaque, and a small park to surround it on the Ala Wai. Kristin checked out old maps of the day to verify her suspicions that this construction site was also the site of the home of Princess Ka'iulani and her family.

Until she pointed out the importance of this spot to the developers, it was intended to be a parking lot. Thanks to the cooperation of the developers, the plaque now stands as closely as possible to the spot where the house stood - and as for the State owned building, which was to be named Tusitala Vista after Robert Louis Stevenson, it is now called Ainahau Vista.
Isn't it good to know that some developers are willing to rethink their plans for issues like these? Warm aloha to you as well Kristin, and congratulations for saving this important location. Mahalo to Mark E. McKenzie of Abilene, Texas who sent in the photos.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Princess Ka'iulani Tribute & Legendary Night

The Ka'iulani Project's, Wilmont Kamaunu Kahaialii Jr. was accompanied by Scotland's Musical Ambassador, Alasdair Fraser and cellist, Natalie Haas in an emotional Hawaiian/Scottish tribute to Hawaii's treasured, Princess Ka'iulani Cleghorn at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center last Friday night. Wilmont, a quintessential Hawaiian Musician with true Aloha spirit, and a most valued member of The Ka'iulani Project, sang a composition of Ka'iulani's mother, Princess Miriam Likelike. Hawaii's Crown Princess was of dual Hawaiian/Scottish ancestry and her life story is the subject of the upcoming production "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose" to be premiered in Hawaii. The title of the play refers to a poem written to the Princess by Scotland's Robert Louis Stevenson. This legendary musical evening, produced by Hamish Burgess and Jennifer Fahrni of Maui Celtic and The Ka'iulani Project, wrapped up with a raucous after party and music session. A video of the performance will be posted soon. Photos: C. Siobhan Halstead.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Clarence Waipa and Ka'iulani

I have had the great fortune to connect with Clarence Waipa, a school teacher from Hilo. He, with the help of his students, wrote a wonderful play about Ka'iulani in 1986. It was so memorable, that Mikahala Roy, of the Ahu'ena Heiau (who saw the play 20 years ago) suggested I contact him. Mr. Waipa's sent me his play and some details of the experience of writing it. I told him that I am envious of his students having a teacher of such inspiration. I hope we'll have the chance to sit down together soon.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tribute to Princess Ka'iulani by Alasdair Fraser and Wilmont Kahaialii

Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas

with Special Tribute to Hawaii's Princess Ka'iulani
Maui Arts & Cultural Center, McCoy Theater
World's Top Scottish Fiddler and Brilliant Cellist! Hamish and I are thrilled to be producing our top Celtic Show of the year!
Friday, February 20, 2008, Maui Celtic presents the Maui return of Scotland's Musical Ambassador Alasdair Fraser and the talented cellist, Natalie Haas. Fraser, a musician of eloquence and passion, in collaboration with Haas, explores the soul of Scottish dance music together with lyrical, sensitive airs.
After a salute by the bagpipes, Wilmont Kahaialii of The Ka'iulani Project, will open the show with a Hawaiian Chant. Wilmont and Alasdair will perform a Hawaiian/Scottish tribute dedicated to Hawaii's Crown Princess Ka'iulani, who's mother was musician and composer, Princess Miriam Likelike, and father was Scotsman, Archibald Scott Cleghorn. More info: "Maui Celtic"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Princess Ka'iulani Project - Kumu /Choreographer

With the passing of the holidays and after visiting monuments of another magnificent ancient culture - the Mayan, it is time now to return to the production of Ka'iulani - The Island Rose.

My thoughts are repeatedly brought back to the importance of the right people being involved in the project. There have been so many who have emailed wishing to take part and I am certain that, because of it's size, everyone will have a place in the project. For most, it is just early to confirm cast or positions, so I hope everyone will be patient and continue to stay in contact.

At the moment, I am most concerned with the Hawaiian content and the position of Kumu Hula and choreographer. The Kumu/choreographer is one of the most important members of this project, as several moments of truth in this production are conveyed through hula. This work could start right away. The postion requires a creative individual with their own voice, who through 19th century hula, can stage sometimes unconventional moments. There is the greatest likelihood that these performances will be the most memorable highlights of the production.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Upcoming Festival

Recently I've been asked about setting up a Ka'iulani Project presentation in Oahu. This one at the Hawaiian / Scottish Festival in Queen Kapi'olani Park, the first weekend of April - not confirmed yet, though.

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's a New Year - A Time to Take a Good Look at Ourselves

The Project has received a lot of attention this past year, and with that, a lot of opinions of what people think should happen. Our goal cannot be to fulfill expectations, however - our goal is to tell a story - her story. We also cannot judge others who use the Princess's name to further themselves. The truth will out, in time.
There's been great support and great criticism. Being called a haole missionary is probably the worst, but open dialogue is necessary to get to the truth. It's probably a good idea for us all to take a good long look at ourselves. - Jennifer