NATIVE HAWAIIAN DANCER SINGER KINI “JENNIE” KAPAHU WILSON DIED
Ana Kini Kapahukulaokamāmalu Kuululani McColgan Huhu was born in Honolulu, March 4, 1872. She became the hānai daughter of a childless woman stranger who assisted her mother in labor. Her hānai mother, Kapahukulaokamāmalu, just happened to be a court dancer for King Kalākaua. At 14, “Jennie” joined the court, learned ukulele, singing, and the hula pahu & hula ālaʻapapa. In 1903, she performed hula at the Chicago World’s Fair after getting permission from Queen Kapiʻolani. After touring Europe, Jenny married John Wilson, Mayor of Honolulu. Also engaged politically, Jennie organized Hawaii’s women after the 19th Amendment was ratified to “discuss the new sphere of womanhood” it created. She once told the press she wanted her husband elected so she could “kick some shins.” After he died in 1956, she was appointed State historian. In 1960, she was one of Hawaii’s electors in the electoral college. Declared Hawaii’s “Honorary First Lady” by the state legislature, Jennie died in Honolulu.
Sources: “Kini ‘Jennie’ Kapahu Wilson, 1872-1962,” National Asian Pacific Americans Women’s Forum, 3/23/2019. Retrieved 5/30/2020, https://www.napawf.org/womens-history-month/2019/3/23/kini-kapahu-wilson “Kini Kapahu,” PeoplePill. Retrieved 5/30/2020, https://peoplepill.com/people/kini-kapahu/ Photo: Author unknown, circa 1890s. Public Domain.