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Hawaiian Royalty in Rogers Park: An Inside Look at a New Field Museum Exhibition

August 14, 2023 @ 6:00 pm 7:30 pm

Mrs. Kulamanu McWayne Nash and Daughter Wayne Kulamanu Nash. This photo was probably taken in their home at 1543 Juneway Terrace, circa 1928-30. Courtesy of the Field Museum.

When Ryan Schuessler, Exhibition Developer at the Field Museum started work on the new Chicago’s Legacy Hula exhibition, he and the team discovered an unexpected link in the Museum’s collection to a distant cousin of the Hawaiian royal family, who lived in Rogers Park after World War I.

To learn more, Ryan contacted the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society, and together, we discovered that Mrs. L. Byron Nash, who donated the objects to the Field in 1949, was the daughter of Lucy Iwalani Robinson McWayne, who had family ties to Queen Lili`uokalani, the last Hawaiian ruler of the islands. Mrs. McWayne was widowed soon after the Queen was deposed, and she and her daughter Kulamanu Beatrice, (later the Mrs. Nash on the Field Museum’s accession record) came to Rogers Park around 1919. After Kulamanu married well-to-do Chicagoan Lucius Nash, the family lived first on Juneway Terrace, and later in the North Shore suburbs.

Join Ryan to hear the story of Lucy Robinson McWayne and her older sisters, who were childhood friends of the queen, and how, through them, an extraordinary collection of Kahili, the sacred royal standards of Hawaiian royalty, came to the Field Museum. Learn more about the new exhibit and see a presentation of Hula by the exhibit’s co-curator, special guest, Kumu Hula Carole Lanialoha Lee.

This Living History Program will be held at the Rogers Park Branch Library, 6907 North Clark Street. Living History Programs are free and open to all, but pre-registration is required due to capacity limitations of the library venues.