What is the relationship between The Kūʻē Petition of 1897,
Kūʻē Petition Continues and Ka Lei Maile Aliʻi?
Ka Lei Maile Aliʻi Hawaiian Civic Club (KLMA) is a member of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, an organization of over 60 member clubs throughout Hawaiʻi and on the continental United States. KLMA was founded in 2003. The club’s mission is to honor the life and work of Queen Liliʻuokalani. This is accomplished by promoting educational and cultural programs related to Hawaiian history, and by researching and disseminating information about the Queen and the times in which she lived. KLMA’s principal efforts at educating the general public have centered around two major activities: a dramatic reenactment titled, “Ka Lei Maile Aliʻi – The Queen’s Women” and the Kūʻē Name Signs Project. The drama is based on a newspaper article in the San Francisco Call newspaper titled, “Strangling Hands Upon a Nation’s Throat,” written in 1897 and describing a meeting of the Hui Aloha ʻĀina in Hilo, on Hawaiʻi Island. It was introduced in 2001to multiple standing-room-only audiences. In 2003, organizers of the drama formed themselves into a club and applied for membership in the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs as a way to reach audiences who were primarily Hawaiian by ancestry. The club took as its name the title of the drama, itself. KLMA launched the Kūʻē Name Signs Project in 2010, displaying individual names of more than 2300 persons who signed the petition in 1897. These signs, 600 of them, were displayed first at McKinley High School on Oʻahu and laid out in a circle around the statue of William McKinley, whose hand holds a document titled, “Treaty of Annexation.” The sign display was meant as silent commentary, calling attention to the fact that no such treaty exists. The names on each sign faced the statue, as if those individuals sat in silent judgment of an illegal action. Back of the signs were the words “No Treaty of Annexation.” Subsequent displays took place at various places on O`ahu, including at ʻIolani Palace; on Hawaiʻi Island in Waimea, Kona, and Hilo; and on Maui at Maui Community College. In 2012 the signs, 2300 of them, traveled to Washington D.C. and were displayed on the National Mall. Response to these displays has been overwhelmingly positive and emotionally-charged at every single site. The Kūʻē Petition Continues project built on the earlier projects of the club and carried forward the idea of expansion to include present day descendants and to encourage spiritual and cultural reconnection. It is a natural evolution of the earlier works. While it is considered a project of KLMA, it is also operating under its own impetus and the Maui Hui determines its outreach procedures and outcomes.