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US Mint

2023-D Edith Kanaka’ole U.S. Women Quarter

2023-D Edith Kanaka’ole U.S. Women Quarter

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Get the Uncirculated Denver "D" mint mark issue of the 2023 U.S. Women Quarters quarter celebrating Hawaiian naturalist and cultural preservationist Edith Kanaka'ole!

  • Second issue of 2023 and seventh in series
  • Coin honors noted scholar and teacher of Hawaiian language and land ownership, ethnobotany, hula and chants, plus Polynesian history
  • Reverse features Kanaka'ole, her hair and head lei morphing into a Hawaiian landscape to symbolize her life's work preserving the land and traditional Hawaiian culture
  • Inscription "E hō mai ka 'ike" translates as "granting the wisdom," and is a reference to the intertwined role hula and chants play in this preservation
  • Designed by Emily Damstra of the U.S. Mint's Artistic Infusion Program and sculpted by Medallic Artist Renata Gordon
  • Obverse depicts George Washington as originally designed and sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser to commemorate his 200th birthday for a 1932 quarter
  • Grade: Uncirculated


The Edith Kanakaʻole Quarter is the seventh coin in the American Women Quarters™ Program. Edith Kanakaʻole was an indigenous Hawaiian composer, chanter, kumu hula, and a custodian of native culture, traditions, and the natural land. Her moʻolelo, or stories, served to rescue aspects of Hawaiian history, customs, and traditions that were disappearing due to the cultural bigotry of the time.

Kanakaʻole, or “Aunty Edith”, as she is commonly known, was a renowned practitioner of and authority on modern Hawaiian culture and language. She learned hula from her mother, who was instructed by the acclaimed dancer Akoni Mika.

Kanakaʻole believed that the oli, or Hawaiian chants, formed the basis of Hawaiian values and history. She started composing oli in 1946 and choreographed hula to go with many of her chants.

In the 1950s, she toured the contiguous United States, western Canada, and much of Asia with a hula group named after her daughter Nalani. She also founded her own hālau (hula school), Halau O Kekuhi.

Kanakaʻole assisted in the development of the first Hawaiian language program for public school students at the Keaukaha School in Hilo. In the 1970s, she created college courses and seminars on subjects including ethnobotany, Polynesian history, genealogy, and Hawaiian chant and mythology.

In 1979, she received the Distinction of Cultural Leadership award, the state’s highest honor. It is given to an individual who has made significant outstanding lifetime contributions to Hawai’i in areas of culture, arts, and humanities.

Edith Kanakaʻole died on October 3, 1979. Her teachings, beliefs, and practices are maintained by the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation (EKF), a Hawaiian cultural-based non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1990.

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