Hawaiian Culture Comes to DC

Written by: Katie Cannon, DAR Museum Curator of Education
September 27, 2019

Want a taste of Hawaii? This October the DAR Museum welcomes a traveling play called My Name is `Ōpūkaha`ia. It follows the life of Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia, a young Hawaiian who came to the United States in 1808 for a promotional speaking tour. Henry became involved in gaining support for an international missionary effort, including a mission to the Kingdom of Hawaii. His life and memoirs inspired others to carry on his message, and the year 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of a group of missionaries setting sail from the United States to Hawaii. This play is traveling nearly 5,000 miles from the Hawaiian Mission Houses and the DAR Museum is proud to be one of the stops during its east coast tour.

Two schoolgirl samplers in the DAR Museum share a connection with the Hawaiian Mission Houses. One was made by Maka, a Native Hawaiian, at a missionary school on Maui. The other was made by the daughter of missionaries, Isabella Chamberlain, whose childhood home is now the Hawaiian Mission House Museum. The samplers will be on exhibit exclusively for the performance.

This play features two performers. The actor, Moses Goods, is one of Hawaiʻi’s most prominent theatre artists. Originally from the island of Maui and now based in Honolulu, he has traveled nationally and internationally performing his original work to a wide range of audiences.  His body of work ranges from full length plays to theatrical storytelling pieces— most of which are strongly rooted in Native Hawaiian culture. The musician, Pōʻai Lincoln, will be performing Hawaiian music that provides a cultural context to the play. She is the Cultural Programs Coordinator at Hawaiian Mission Houses. Her portion of the program will highlight traditional Oli (chants) and Mele (songs) of Hawaii, as well as the compositions of 19th century Hawaiian composers such as Queen Liliʻuokalani.

Don’t miss this chance to experience a taste of Hawaiian history and culture from this performance on Wednesday, October 16 at DAR Headquarters. Tickets are on sale now.

This event is made possible by a generous donation from the Hawaii State Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

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