Pikake Lei

Above: Ka'iulani feeding the peacocks at Ainahau, 1899

Birthday of Princess Ka'iulani

Oct 16

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Birthday of Princess Ka'iulani
Pikake Lei
Liqueur Day
Atholl Brose
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Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"Forth from her land to mine she goes,
The island maid, the island rose,
Light of heart and bright of face:
The daughter of a double race.

But our Scots islands far away
Shall glitter with unwonted day,
And cast for once their tempests by
To smile in Kaiulani's eye."

~ To Princess Ka'iulani, Robert Louis Stevenson, 1896

Hawaii's last Crown Princess, Princess Ka'iulani, was the daughter of a Scottish financier and Hawaiian royalty. During her short life, Ka'iulani (October 16, 1875 – March 6, 1899) was heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii and held the title of Crown Princess. Kaʻiulani became known throughout the world for her intelligence and determination. The Kaʻiulani Project was founded to celebrate her life, spirit and legacy. The project includes Kaʻiulani: The Island Rose, a fact-based screenplay and stage play, and a biography Princess Ka'iulani – Her Life and Times. This Scottish Country Dance, Pikake Lei, was a contribution of this project and refers to the peacocks that roamed her family estate, Ainahau, in Waikiki.

Pikake Lei

Hawaii's last Crown Princess, Princess Ka'iulani, was the daughter of a Scottish financier and Hawaiian royalty had the full formal name of:

Victoria Kawēkiu Kaʻiulani Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Victoria Kaʻiulani, Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kawēkiui Lunalilo Cleghorn Victoria Kawēkiu Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kaʻiulani Cleghorn

Through her mother, Kaʻiulani was descended from High Chief Kepoʻokalani, the first cousin of Kamehameha the Great on the side of Kamehameha's mother, Kekuʻiapoiwa II. Her mother was also a sister of King Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani. Kaʻiulani's father was Archibald Scott Cleghorn, a Scottish financier from Edinburgh and the last Royal Governor of Oʻahu. 

During her short life, Ka'iulani (October 16, 1875 – March 6, 1899) was heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii and held the title of Crown Princess. Kaʻiulani became known throughout the world for her intelligence and determination. After the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, she visited the United States to help restore the Kingdom; she made many speeches and public appearances denouncing the overthrow of her government and the injustice toward her people. While in Washington, D.C., she paid an informal visit to U.S. President Grover Cleveland and First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland Preston, but her efforts could not prevent eventual annexation.

The Kaʻiulani Project was founded to celebrate her life, spirit and legacy.  The project includes Kaʻiulani: The Island Rose, a fact-based screenplay and stage play, and a biography Princess Ka'iulani – Her Life and Times. This Scottish Country Dance, the Pikake Lei, was a contribution of this project and refers to the peacocks that roamed her family estate, Ainahau, in Waikiki.

***

Robert Louis Stevenson, who met Princess Ka'iulani, was inspired to a tribute poem:

From Songs of Travel
 

[Written in April to Kaiulani in the April of her age; and at Waikiki, within easy walk of Kaiulani's banyan! When she comes to my land and her father's, and the rain beats upon the window (as I fear it will), let her look at this page; it will be like a weed gathered and pressed at home; and she will remember her own islands, and the shadow of the mighty tree; and she will hear the peacocks screaming in the dusk and the wind blowing in the palms; and she will think of her father sitting there alone. - R. L. S.]
 

To Princess Ka'iulani

 

Forth from her land to mine she goes,

The island maid, the island rose,

Light of heart and bright of face:

The daughter of a double race.

 

Her islands here, in Southern sun,

Shall mourn their Kaiulani gone,

And I, in her dear banyan shade,

Look vainly for my little maid.

 

But our Scots islands far away

Shall glitter with unwonted day,

And cast for once their tempests by

To smile in Kaiulani's eye.

 

Honolulu.

****

For more on her life and legacy, visit the Ka'iulani Project by clicking the modern painting of her feeding her peacocks. 

Pikake Lei
Pikake Lei

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The majority of dance descriptions referenced on this site have been taken from the

 

Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary or the

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Snapshots of dance descriptions are provided as an overview only.  As updates may have occurred, please click the dance description to be forwarded to a printable dance description or one of the official reference sources.

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