Uncovering the Secrets of Queen Kapi’olani’s Canoe

Instructional Resource

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Uncovering the Secrets of Queen Kapi’olani’s Canoe

Instructional Resource

This collection explores the cultural and historical significance of two diplomatic missions by Hawaiian King Kalākaua and Queen Kapi'olani to the United States. These 19th-century diplomatic missions established the first state dinner hosted by U.S. President Grant and included the gifting of a canoe from Queen Kapi'olani to the Smithsonian. Students can watch a video interview about this history and answer guided questions, then look closely  and analyze portraits of the monarchs, read more about the history of U.S. state dinners, and learn about the contemporary collaborations curators have with community members to reveal the history of objects, as described in the film. 

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

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Tags: Hawaii, Kapiolani, Kalakaua, outrigger canoe, wa'a, diplomacy