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Waioli Hui`ia Church

The Waioli Hui‘ia Church at Hanalei was established in 1841.


Missionaries arriving in the Hawaiian Islands from 1820 brought profound change to the islands. Ha‘ena's location placed it on the outskirts of missionary activity, but it was still influenced by the changes that followed. The importance of the role played by missionaries generally cannot be underestimated. The first ones to settle in this part of Kaua‘i were Reverend William Anderson and his wife, Mary Ann. In 1837, they built the Waioli Mission House. By 1841, the congregation was sufficient to build the Waioli Hui‘ia Church, which still remains today as a vibrant community location and, with the mission house, as a distinct piece of early Hawaiian/American architecture in the landscape.

"There were no missionary stations in Ha‘ena, it was still a very remote area" Chipper explains. "Hanalei was an early missionary station, and I'm sure that the missionaries made an effort to come out here periodically. It wasn't that remote--it was an easy canoe ride from Hanalei. And there were missionary stations on the other side of the island, at Waimea, where the first missionary station was established. But there is no direct knowledge of the impact of missionaries on the people here in Ha‘ena."



1824 map

1824 missionary map of Kaua‘i.


"We have a picture of a family in the 1800s," Chipper adds, "and you can already see the missionary impact in their clothing. There has been a lot of talk among our local community about who this family is and why they are dressed the way they are. Quite a few people have said that it looks like they have just come home from church. The old timers here don't recognize anybody, perhaps it is a family from Kalalau that came out for church, and got all dressed up. But if they came out for church, what were they doing over here, since there was no church at Ke‘e." (Chipper's photograph is shown on the Society page of this chapter.)

Meanwhile, the missionary influence on the Hawaiian government back on Honolulu resulted in a powerful transformation of landholding that marked a colonial turning point in the islands: the 1848 Mahele.



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