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Women in Law: Emma Nakuina

Posted on Mar 2, 2018 in Uncategorized
Emma Nakuina, First Female Judge in Hawaii

Emma Nakuina

“On behalf of the Hawaii State Judiciary, I am pleased to announce the first in a series of annual programs presented by the Judiciary History Center to recognize Hawaii women in law during Women’s History Month,” said Hawaii Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. “As the nation commemorates the crucial role women have played in American history, the Judiciary will celebrate Hawaii women pioneers in the fields of law and justice. We will honor the trailblazers – those who laid the foundation for the pivotal role women have played in Hawaii’s judicial history.”

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Judiciary History Center presents a talk by Hawaiian scholar, Uluwehi Hopkins. Emma Kailikapiolono Metcalf Beckley Nakuina lived from 1847-1929. She held prominent positions under the Hawaiian Kingdom, the Provisional Government, the Republic of Hawaii, and the Territory of Hawaii. Kamehameha IV ordered that she be taught about traditional water rights, and was later appointed, “custodian of the laws of the Kamehamehas and became an authority on the workings of all ancient laws.” Nakuina was also curator of the Kingdom Museum and Library, and commissioner of private ways and water rights which allowed her to serve as the first female judge in Hawaii, presiding over court cases dealing with water rights and use.

Date:  Friday, March 16, 2018
Time:  5:30 p.m.
Place:  1913 Courtroom, Aliiolani Hale, 417 South King St., Honolulu, HI 96813

Born and raised on Oahu, Uluwehi Hopkins’ mookūauhau also traces back for many generations. She earned a B.A. and M.A. in Hawaiian Studies from the Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at UH Mānoa, and is currently working on a PhD in the History Department with a specialization in Hawaiian History. In researching Emma Metcalf Nakuina for her Master’s thesis, Uluwehi was reintroduced to her Metcalf ancestors, and found that Emma Metcalf Nakuina is her great-grand aunt. Uluwehi has taught both Hawaiian Studies and World History at UH Mānoa and at UH West Oʻahu.

Join us as Judge Nakuina’s great-grandniece, Uluwehi Hopkins, presents a well-researched, elegantly written, and compelling portrait of the life and work of Hawaii’s first woman judge.

If you require accommodation for disability please call JHC 539-4999.
RSVP here by March 15th.