Emma Metcalf Nakuina affronted, 1897.

Contemptuous Act Against Women.

Being that the parading was being held in the uplands of the Kamehameha School for Boys, on the plains of Kaiwiula, Mrs. Emma Metcalf Nakuina went attended by Mrs. R. W. Maea [Mrs. Rudolph William Meyer] of Kalae, Molokai and two of her daughters, Mrs. Mutch and Mrs. Hitchcock. They went and sat in a calm and shady place at the Bishop Museum, atop a area covered with manienie grass, and the son of the one named first, F. W. Kahapula Beckley, brought them chairs.

However, while they sat enjoying themselves, Professor Brigham, the haole who maligns Hawaiians, passed by and he looked at them with disapproval. Not long thereafter, the Portuguese grounds keeper came and kicked these women out, but they did not go out together. Soon after, the Portuguese man appeared once again and hit the chairs and tilted them forward; the elderly woman was shocked. To Mrs. Nakuina, the Portuguese man assaulted her by grabbing and pulled her by the hand. The Portuguese man was struck by Kahapula for this, but he said that he was ordered by the Professor to forcefully take her.

There were a great many visitors there who witnessed this, and when his overseer heard of this, he came at once and apologized, however, it was not accepted; not until that haole apologizes in public, being that it was in public that he showed his contempt. But it appears he believes that the place belongs to him. If perhaps we had known before, then we wouldn’t have gone.

(Makaainana, 5/24/1897, p. 1)

Hana Hoowahawaha Wahine.

Ka Makaainana, Buke VII—Ano Hou, Helu 21, Aoao 1. Mei 24, 1897.

3 thoughts on “Emma Metcalf Nakuina affronted, 1897.

  1. Emma Nakuina had been the curator of the Hawaiian National Museum which had occupied a room in Aliiolani Hale (Judiciary Building) from 1875 till its closing in 1891. Its collections had then gone to Bishop Museum. For some reason, she and William Brigham did not get along, and this incident is ample evidence of that. After it happened, he resigned from Bishop Museum, she applied for his job but didn’t get it, and he then was reinstated at the start of the following year.


  2. Brigham, I believe, had been a teacher of hers at Punahou, and he used vituperous language in writing about her to the Bishop Museum trustees.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s