Local family to hold first reunion on Iolani Palace grounds

Nani Kinimaka-Davis gets emotional when she thinks about being on the grounds of Iolani Palace.

“It is such a wonderful feeling from within for all of my ohana,” Kinimaka-Davis said. “Just to be able to get here and take their steps we are so honored truly honored.”

The Kinimakas go back 17 generations in Hawaii.

The kamaaina family has strong ties to Iolani Palace and Hawaii’s royalty.

Kinimaka-Davis’ great grandfather David Leleo Kinimaka, who was the Lt. Commander of the royal grounds, stood beside another well-known David, his hanai brother, David Kalakaua.

“David Leleo his parents Keaweamahi Kinimaka and his wife Pai — also raised King David Kalakaua and his sister Liliuokalani as their own,” Kinimaka-Davis said.

The state motto and seal are also tied to the to Kinimakas.

“The one to the left when you’re looking at the seal, his name is Kameeiamoku, the gentleman to the right is called Kamanawa. My father is his namesake,” Kinimaka-Davis said.

The Kinimakas include entertainers, restaurant owners, genealogists, renowned watermen, and kumu hula.

“You can see right here how our kupuna have handed down these generations of beautiful arts and crafts and talents to all of the Kinimaka children,” Kauai kumu hulae Kapu Kinimaka-Alquiza said.

Kinimka-Davis says her ohana is the first Hawaiian family to ask for permission to have their family reunion on the palace grounds since the overthrow in 1885.

More than 400 people expected to attend.

Department of Land and Natural Chairman Bill Aila says it is the state’s responsibility to make sure proper activities happen on the palace grounds.

“In this case, you have a kamaaina family that’s conducted themselves in a very pono way,” Aila said.

“It’s already emotional right at this very moment just standing here on this very beautiful sacred grounds of Iolani Palace and to know the history of our kupuna that once lived here on this grounds,” Kinimaka-Alquiza said.

On Saturday night, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will present the family with a certificate from another island son, President Barack Obama.

“It’s going to be breathtaking and it’s going to be a privilege for us to be here,” Kinimaka-Alquiza said.

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