Kawananakoa’s burial crypt at Mauna Ala took a decade of planning
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The late Hawaiian heiress Abigail Kawananakoa will be buried Monday at Mauna Ala, where Hawaiian royals have been buried since the 1800s.
Surrounded by black gates and the seal of Hawaii’s kingdom, Mauna Ala has burials of the Kamehameha and Kalakaua dynasties.
Kawananakoa, known as a princess for her royal lineage, died in December.
Her crypt will be 8 feet tall and sit on the makai side of the entrance with a foundation that 15 feet by 15 feet.
The design process started a decade ago and it’s still under construction.
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“The Wylie tomb is white. This tomb will be black. It’s made out of black granite with flecks of gold in it,” said Denby Fawcett, author and Civil Beat columnist.
“It’ll be the smallest tomb here and she expressed that was her wish to not try and build something to overshadow the other tombs,” she added.
Kawananakoa wanted to be interred in the Kalakaua crypt, but it was already full with the last person buried at Mauna Ala in 1953. It was her uncle ― David Kalakaua Kawananakoa.
In 2013, the state Land Department granted permission for Kawananakoa to build a new single occupant tomb.
Many critics were against it but she did have supporters, including the mausoleum’s caretaker.
“He acknowledged that she was not a titled royal, but she came from strong alii background and also it was right for her to be buried with her mother, grandmother and her grandfather. The family had contributed much to Hawaii,” said Fawcett.
While Monday’s burial is private, Fawcett says Kawananakoa’s service will bring people together and is a reminder of Hawaii’s history.
“It makes me want to cry sometimes because I think of all these kings, Hawaiian kings who ruled Hawaii, a sovereign nation, are all here and all deceased. Sometimes when I read their names in a row, I get very sad,” she said.
Before Monday’s private burial, Kawananakoa will lie in state on Sunday at Iolani Palace from 2 p.m. to 8pm.
That event is open to the public.
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