Today is #StatehoodDay
, the anniversary of Hawai‘i becoming a state, but we thought we'd take a different look at Hawai‘i's statehood—through the lens of royal orders.
Royal orders were used by the Hawaiian monarchy to mark distinguished folks who served the kingdom and also prove the islands as a modern nation.
Out of all the monarchs, King #Kalākaua
is known for collecting and giving away the most orders and decorations as part of his mission to put Hawai‘i on the world stage and shape its national identity. To do that, he established an elaborate Hawaiian honorary system by creating four new royal orders.
Here's one he had commissioned:
A medal he made for himself in 1881 to commemorate his circumnavigation around the world. (He was the first monarch to do that, after all.) Fittingly, placed in the center is a revolving miniature globe. This one and many more royal orders will be on display in our upcoming exhibition "Ho‘oulu Hawai‘i: The King Kalākaua Era," on view Sept. 13.
"Kalākaua Around the World Medal"
Metal, cloth, and porcelain
Collection, Bishop Museum
Photo by Jesse W. Stephen, copyright © #BishopMuseum
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