Late Native Hawaiian hula teacher to appear on U.S. quarter

Edith Kanaka’ole Foundation via AP
This undated photo provided by Edith Kanaka’ole Foundation show the late Native Hawaiian hula teacher Edith Kanaka’ole.

HONOLULU (AP) — The late Native Hawaiian hula teacher Edith Kanaka’ole is among five women who will be individually featured on a U.S. quarter next year as part of a program that depicts notable women on the flip side of the coin.

The U.S. Mint said Wednesday the other side of each quarter will show George Washington.

It described Kanaka’ole, who died in 1978, as a composer, chanter, dancer, teacher and entertainer.

“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,” it said in a news release.

The Edith Kanaka’ole Foundation in Hilo, which was established in 1990 to perpetuate her and her husband Luka Kanaka’ole’s teachings, said she has been recognized as “the preeminent practitioner of modern Hawaiian culture and language.”

The U.S. Mint said the other four women to appear on the coin next year were: Bessie Coleman, the first African American and first Native American woman pilot; Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady and author; Jovita Idár, the Mexican American journalist and activist; and Maria Tallchief, who was America’s first prima ballerina.

This year, the program is issuing coins featuring five other women, including poet Maya Angelou and astronaut Sally Ride.