Throughout the history of Hawai‘i, women have played a crucial role in shaping the government, societal landscape, and future of the Islands by leading their people through immense change. Women of Old Hawai‘i offers a basic overview of just a handful of the outstanding figures whose influence and work are still felt today.
Author Maxine Mrantz begins by just scratching the surface of what life was like for women in ancient Hawai‘i, explaining the importance of genealogy and bloodlines, marriage and children, and women’s roles as caregivers, artists, rulers, and lawmakers.
Among the most notable women presented are Queen Ka‘ahumanu, wife of Kamehameha I, Chiefess Kapi‘olani, Elizabeth Kīna‘u, Kekāuluohi, Princess Victoria Kamāmalu, Queen Emma, Princess Ka‘iulani, and Queen Lili‘uokalani.
Their accomplishments exceed what’s listed here and continue to be seen and felt throughout Hawai‘i today—from the laws created, to the buildings erected, to the land preserved, to the songs written. Hawai‘i’s presence on the world stage would not have been possible without the courage and strength of the women leaders who paved the way forward.