Ho'oulu a me Ho'ola Lahui ("Kapi'olani / To increase and preserve the nation")
This painting is my tribute to Queen Kapi’olani (1834 - 1899), beloved wife of King Kaläkaua (and aunt/hänai mother to Prince Kühiö) and founder of the Kapiolani Maternity Home, forerunner of Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children.
Greatly concerned with the rapid decline in the Hawaiian population, Kapi’olani (The Bent Twig of Heaven or Arch of Heaven as in "rainbow") and Kaläkaua adopted the motto, "Ho‘oulu a me Ho’öla Lähui," (To Increase and Preserve the Nation). In 1874, they organized a society to carry out this purpose. Kapi‘olani was the president and Kaläkaua the secretary. Together they worked toward the establishment of a maternity home for underprivileged Hawaiian mothers. (Kapi’olani herself had given birth to a stillborn child [circa 1857], while married to Chief Namakeha [circa 1799-1859]. She was to have no other children. Through her own tragic experience and loss, she believed that mothers and babies must be given better care for the preservation of the Hawaiian race.)
After the 1874 election of Kaläkaua as king, the couple began to promote their plan. The queen traveled the islands, staging benefits and seeking donations. When their goal of $ 8,000 was finally reached, the sum was placed in trust with the interest to be used for the maintenance of the home.
The first Home, "Ululani," a renovated rambling one-story cottage, was opened in 1890. It had a capacity to care for seven patients. (When Kapi’olani died in 1899, Prince Kühiö assumed the sponsorship of the Home. In 1917, the medical center moved next door into a larger two-story facility and the charging of fees was initiated. Those who could not afford to pay brought fish, taro, fruits, and vegetables. The name was changed to Kapiolani Maternity Home. Eventually, the home also outgrew this building and the hospital was moved to its present location at the corner of Punahou and Bingham).