Emma ʻAʻima Aiʻi - Nāwahī

On 17 February 1881 she married Iosepa Kahoʻoluhi Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu. Both would become staunch defenders of Hawaiian independence and honored patriots of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.

In one petition to President McKinley, the women stated:

After the January 1893 overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani, Emma became a leader of Hui Aloha ʻĀina o Nā Wahine, a womenʻs political association whose objective was "to help the propagation of patriotic sentiments tending toward the preservation to the independent autonomy of the Islands of Hawaii nei." The women spurred a massive anti-annexation drive to block the annexation of their nation to the United States.

Mahalo to Dr. Ronald Williams Jr. of the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge for this post.

“We, the women of the Hawaiian Islands, for our families and the happiness of our homes, desire peace and political quiet, and we pray that man’s greed for power and spoils shall not be allowed to disturb the otherwise happy life of these islands, and that the revolutionary agitations and disturbances inaugurated here since 1887, by a few foreigners may be forever suppressed.”

After her husband Iosepa died from tuberculosis—likely contracted in Oʻahu prison where he was held in 1895 by the Republic of Hawaiʻi government— she continued the nationalist newspaper they had started, Ke Aloha ʻĀina.

Emma was one of Queen Liliʻuokalaniʻs closest confidants and the two exchanged correspondence while the Queen was in the United States in 1897 fighting for the continued independence of the Hawaiian nation and her return to the throne.

Today—28 September—in Hawaiian History [1854]: Emma ʻAʻima Aiʻi—one of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi's greatest patriots—is born in Hilo, Hawaiʻi, to the Native Hawaiian Aliʻiwahine Kahaʻoleaua and the Chinese sugar merchant Tong Yee.

Mahalo to Dr. Ronald Williams Jr. for permission to share this post from his Facebook page.