The Prayer of Lili’uokalani – deciphering the first Hawaiian bracelet’s secret symbols

Told by Philip Rickard


I am a manufacturing jeweler, whose company handcrafts the Hawaiian Heirloom Jewelry made in these islands for over one hundred and sixty years. While this has been for the most part a cottage industry, with the crafts needed for this art passed down from Father to Son or from one craftsman to another... in my generation I have sought to elevate and perfect this art so that its inherent good qualities may be passed on, in a good light to the future.

In researching my book on the history of the Hawaiian Jewelry, I was not surprised to find at its inception Queen Lili’uokalani, a woman of great character and purpose, for it seems that much is always perpetuated from people of this sort.

When after some years, I held in my hands that original bracelet on which were the words “Hoomanao Mau”, I perceived this to be in translation “A Lasting Remembrance”, and in sync with the times and the death of Prince Albert of England. The inscription was in black enamel and while black enamel was used in the English mourning jewelry, the Old English heraldic significance for black was "constancy".

Upon coming to grips with the future of the jewelry, myself, and my company, who I perceive to be the champion of Hawaiian Heirloom Jewelry, I have had to review the roots of my commitment, and in recall, the bracelet of Queen Lili’uokalani, the last monarch of Hawai'i.

Always fascinated with the symbols at each side of the name, I set out to translate their full meaning, some parts of which I had already defined, some symbols Heraldic, some Masonic, some French and some Hawaiian. Upon breaking down the meaning of each symbol and placing them in order of their location on the bracelet, I soon was confronted with what can only be interpreted in no other way than… a prayer.

Knowing much of Lili’uokalani’s nature and great personal conflict from my research, this prayer and its daily sight by Hawaii’s last Queen must surely have been an inspiration in many of her most challenging and darkest moments.
The symbols on each side of the words “Hoomanao Mau” or “A Lasting Remembrance” translate as follows:

“Always remember that guidance from above protects me, and those I protect by my good judgement, and love of perfection, light, and life, for I am Royalty.”

Read The story of Hoomanao Mau, the first Hawaiian bracelet here.

Philip Rickard




数年後、「Hoomanao Mau」の文字が刻まれたオリジナルのブレスレットを手にしたとき、これは直訳すれば「永い追憶」であり、時代とイギリスのアルバート公の死とシンクロしていると感じた。黒いエナメルはイギリスの喪服のジュエリーに使われていたが、古英語の紋章学で黒は「不変」を意味する。




Hoomanao Mau "または "A Lasting Remembrance "の文字の両側にあるシンボルは、次のように訳されている:




ハワイ初のブレスレット、ホオマナオ・マウの物語を読む こちら

Philip Rickard

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