HONOLULU (KHON) — A commemorative quarter honoring the late, legendary Hawaiian hula teacher rolled out on Monday.
Edith Kanakaʻole is one of five American women to be minted on new quarters this year as part of the American Women Quarters Program.
Kanakaʻole was selected to be honored for her efforts in preserving Native Hawaiian knowledge, serving the Hawaiian community, and applying a new lens to academic science.
“She was a renowned practitioner of, and an authority on, modern Hawaiian culture and language,” said Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson. “Edith Kanakaʻole believed that the oli, or Hawaiian chants, formed the basis of Hawaiian values and history.”
U.S. Mint said that Kanakaʻole was a clear role model for all Americans.
The portrait of Kanakaʻole was designed by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program Designer Emily Damstra and sculpted by U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Renata Gordon.
Kanakaʻole is designed with her hair and lei poʻo (head lei) morphing into the elements of a Hawaiian landscape. The U.S. Mint said this was done to symbolize Kanakaʻole’s efforts in preserving the natural land and traditional Hawaiian culture.
The quarter design can be seen below, courtesy of the U.S. Mint.
Inscribed on the quarter is “E hō mai ka ʻike,” which translates to “granting the wisdom.” The phrase is intended to serve as a reference to the intertwined role hula and chants play in preservation.
The other side of the quarter remains a portrait of President George Washington.
Quarter rolls and bags honoring Kanakaʻole are available for purchase from the U.S. Mint here.
Earlier this year, the Mint released quarters honoring Bessie Coleman, the first African American and first Native American woman pilot. Others being honored this year include first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Mexican-American journalist and activist Jovita Idar, and the U.S.’s first prima ballerina, Maria Tallchief.
Five additional quarters will be released next year before the Mint releases quarters commemorating the U.S.’s 250th anniversary in 2026.