Princess Ka'iulani Festival

Aloha from upcountry Maui!

St. John's Episcopal church in beautiful Keokea recently hosted one of the sweetest festivals I have every attended.

The festival was in honor of Princess Victoria Kawekiu Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapapalapa Kaiulani, lovingly known to the Hawaiians as the "princess of the peacocks".

The princess was a strikingly beautiful woman of mixed blood. Her father was a Scotsman, Archibald Cleghorn, and her mother, Miriam Likelike, a Hawaiian girl from a chiefly family. Princess Ka'iulani was next in line to take the throne when Queen Liliuokalani was deposed and imprisoned after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

This quaint festival honored her mixed heritage, with my favorite, the Isle of Maui Pipe Band. The band plays music from many Celtic nations, in celebration of bagpipe playing in Hawaii since the 1800's. Sitting on the emerald grass listening to the great looking folks in kilts playing soulful bag pipe music made for a perfect afternoon.

The icing on the cake was the Princess Ka'iulani Fashion show. A historical review of magnificent gowns worn by the first ladies of the Hawaiian monarchy, graced the stage with a breathtaking backdrop on the slopes of Haleakala. The gowns were replicated after a year and a half of studying the archives of the Bishop Museum.

After a day of hula performances, Hawaiian music, harps and fiddles, lots of smiles, old friends, and great food, I was a happy camper. This little gem of a festival was nostalgic of "the good ol' days," and I look forward to it again next year.

Until next time, a hui ho...