The late Hawaiian hula teacher Edith Kanaka’ole is among five women to be featured individually in the United States in 2023 in a program that depicts notable women on coins.

The US Mint described Kanaka’ole, who died in 1978, as a composer, singer, dancer, teacher and entertainer.

“His mo’olelo, or stories, served to rescue aspects of Hawaiian history, customs and traditions that were disappearing due to the cultural bigotry of the time,” he said in a statement. Press release.

The Edith Kanaka’ole Foundation in Hilo, established in 1990 to perpetuate her teachings and those of her husband Luka Kanaka’ole, said she has been recognized as “the preeminent practitioner of modern Hawaiian culture and language.”

In one declaration at The New York Times, Kuhao Zane, one of Kanaka’ole’s grandchildren, praised the honor, calling it “recognition at the highest level”.

“I felt like they were really trying to honor, alongside these women, some of the indigenous knowledge held by America,” he added.

Edith Kanaka’ole and her husband, Luka Kanaka’ole. Photography: AP

The United States Mint said the other four women to feature on the coin next year were Bessie Coleman, the first African-American pilot and the first Native American woman; Eleanor Roosevelt, the first lady and author; Jovita Idar, Mexican American journalist and activist; and Maria Tallchief, America’s first prima ballerina. Each quarter will carry the image of George Washington on the other side.

“The range of accomplishments and experiences of these extraordinary women speaks to the contributions that women have always made to the history of our country,” said Mint Deputy Director Ventris C Gibson. “I am proud that the Royal Canadian Mint continues to connect America through coins by honoring these pioneering women and their groundbreaking contributions to our society.”

The Secretary of the Treasury selects the recipients, after consultation with the Smithsonian Institution’s American Women’s History Initiative, the National Women’s History Museum and the Congressional Bipartisan Women’s Caucus, the Mint said.

Women selected to be part of the American Women Quarters program are chosen for their contributions to a wide range of fields, including suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space and humanities. arts.

By law, all the people on the drawings of the coins must be deceased.

In 2022, the program is issuing coins featuring five more women, including poet Maya Angelou and astronaut Sally Ride.