|King David Kalākaua|
The Merrie Monarch Festival is dedicated to the memory of King David Kalākaua, known as the Merrie Monarch. King Kalākaua came to the throne of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1874 and reigned until his death in 1891. He was a patron of the arts, especially music and dance.
Kalākaua restored Hawaiian cultural traditions that had been
suppressed for many years under missionary teachings. He
advocated a renewed sense of pride in such things as Hawaiian
mythology, medicine, chant, and hula.
Ancient Hawaiians had no written language, but chant and hula
served to record such things as genealogy, mythology, history, and
religion. Hula, the dance of Hawaiian people, was one means
by which culture was expressed and passed down through
The Merrie Monarch Festival has steadfastly maintained the
teachings of our kupuna, our elders, and in doing so we strive to
perpetuate the history and culture of Hawaiian people in a manner
that respects those teachings. Through our efforts, along
with those of other organizations, we hope to ensure that the
unique traditions of Hawaiian people will continue to