Costume Candidate for 2013: Liliuokalani

Thanks to our Kickstarter campaign for 2013, we’re adding 19 new costumes this season, 7 of which our backers and supporters will get to vote on. This series of posts is designed to briefly introduce the many notable women and legendary figures we’ll be considering. Voting will take place spring/summer of 2013.


Queen Liliuokalani was the last reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii. She came to the throne in 1891 as a pro-native, pro-woman advocate for her people, and quickly found herself at odds with the American businessmen (sugar barons, pineapple planters) who wanted to annex the islands to the United States. Liliuokalani had the support of the native Hawaiians, but the Americans had the support of an armed U.S. warship in the harbor and a landing force of U.S. troops. In 1893 they overthrew the monarchy, deposed the queen, and established a Provisional Government with Sanford Dole (of the pineapple family) as president. By 1898 the annexation of Hawaii to the United States was complete.

Queen Liliuokalani conducted herself with great dignity throughout the whole sorry episode, which included a show trial and temporary imprisonment. She made a number of attempts to resolve the situation via diplomatic overtures to Washington, but the tide of imperialism was against her. In retirement she devoted herself to writing, scholarship, charity, and above all, music. Liliuokalani was a gifted musician and composed over 150 pieces, including the most famous Hawaiian song in the world: “Aloha Oe.”

Think we should add a Queen Liliuokalani costume to Take Back Halloween? If you missed our Kickstarter campaign you can still become a supporter and get to vote on the new costumes.


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