About Kawaiaha‘o Church — Ali‘i of Hawaii

The Ali‘i of Hawai‘i at
Kawaiaha‘o Church

The Hawaiian word Ali‘i means chief, chiefess, king, queen, noble; royal, kingly; to rule or act as chief. It was Kamehameha III who first undertook the building of the “Stone House of Worship, located at Kawaiaha‘o” (the fresh water pool of the Chiefess Ha‘o). Since its dedication in 1842, Kawaiaha‘o Church has been the spiritual home of both the Ali‘i and the commoner.

The portraits of the Ali'i are the gift of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Hoffstot, Jr. of Honolulu. They were dedicated at Kawaiaha‘o Church on September 2, 1973, the Reverend Abraham Akaka saying in his prayer, "Let the nobility and virtue of these Ali‘i live to all generations."

The donors completed their gift by dedicating the portraits of the Ali‘i "to the glory of God, the honor of the Hawaiian people and the enrichment of the State of Hawai‘i."

Known as the Hoffstot Collection, the portraits were painted by Patric (Mrs. John Bauernschmidt) of Honolulu who worked from archival materials and contemporary archetypes. They are the first complete set of oil paintings of the Ali‘i painted in a single style and are permanently affixed to the church walls.

It is particularly appropriate that they hang in Kawaiaha‘o Church, the Westminster Abbey of Hawai‘i, which has been so intimately associated with so many of the Ali‘i.

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