Pāʻū riding for Kamehameha Day a hundred and ten years ago! 1906.


Picturesque Cavalcade Revives Old-Time Custom.

The Hui Holopa-u Maile Alii have every reason to be satisfied with their first parade as a society, which occurred yesterday in celebration of Kamehameha Day.

The custom of pa-u riding is an old and kingly one and it was eminently fitting that the initial gathering of the club should take place on the anniversary of the birth of Hawaii’s greatest king.

About 30 riders gathered at the residence of Mrs. Kainana Puahi at Waikiki early yesterday morning. The costumes, which were uniform, consisted of yellow skirts, white waists, and straw hats encircled with ilima leis. Each rider wore a black ribbon as a sash, bearing the word “Kaonohiokala,” done in gold. The word means “the eye of the sun.”

Frank Andrade marshaled the procession, which arrived at Washington place at 10:30 a. m. Here Mrs. Puahi saluted Queen Liliuokalani, who was seated on the lanai, surrounded by friends and retainers, with a few appropriate words.

After three cheers for the Queen hand been given by the riders, the procession moved to the rooms of the Hawaii Promotion Committee, where Mrs. Puahi thanked the committee for what they had done on behalf of the custom of pa-u riding and the club. Three hearty cheers were given. Present at the rooms were Messrs. J. A. McCandless, I Spalding and H. P. Wood.

The next point visited was the statue of Kamehameha I in front of the Judiciary building. The statue was decorated with leis and after a short address by Mrs. Puahi, the riders sang “Hawaii Ponoi,” their old national anthem, all Hawaiians in the vicinity uncovering.

Cheers having been given before the statue, the cavalcade galloped to Kapiolani Park, where an exhibition of riding was given by the members of the club. The riders then adjourned to Mrs. Puahi’s residence, where a luau was served.

The pa-u riders included Mrs. Kainana Puahi, Mrs. S. Kamaiopili, Miss Lilian Keaomalu, Mrs. Wahinekapu Kamahaku, Mrs. J. H. S. Kaleo, Mrs. N. Van Giesen, Mrs. Woolsey, Mrs. Mary Ann Maikai, Mrs. Aukai Kaae, Mrs. Kalanipaa, Mrs. Hilo Malo, Mrs. Kauuku Mahi, Mrs. Kahapaahu, Mrs. Hikimalame, Mrs. Haalou, Mrs. Hattie Thompson, Mrs. Maluaa, Mrs. Kattie Stall, Miss Tilda Woolsey, Miss Fry, Mrs. A. Makai, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Nakike, Mrs. Makahina.

The horsemen were:

Marshal—Frank Andrade.

Officers—M. Puahi, A. Paaniani, Ku, Maunakea and John Fry.


The progress of the procession was everywhere witnessed by crowds of interested spectators.

(Pacific Commercial Advertiser, 6/12/1906, p. 3)


The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Volume XLIII, Number 7439, Page 3. June 12, 1906.

1 thought on “Pāʻū riding for Kamehameha Day a hundred and ten years ago! 1906.

  1. Interesting for many reasons.

    First, there was no Kamehameha Day Parade yet in 1906. That wouldn’t happen till 1914.

    Second, the visit to the Hawaii Promotion Committee office (in the Alexander Young Hotel building on Bishop Street) was because this organization (predecessor to the Hawaii Visitors Bureau) had started the Floral Parade earlier this year, on Feb. 22, 1906, and it had featured pa`u riders in it. This had been very popular with onlookers. This was the first large-scale organized revival of this activity in the 20th century, I believe.

    Third, the description of the women’s outfits suggests to me that they might not actually have been dressed in a traditional pa`u costume. “Yellow skirts, white waists and straw hats” seem to be normal fashionable women’s attire for 1906. “Waists” means a style of button-down shirt, kind of like a man’s shirt, called a “shirtwaist”.


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