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Kalakaua's coronation

Impressed with court ritual he witnessed on his 1881 world tour, King Kalakaua wished to imbue his own reign with a similar ceremonial presence. On the ninth anniversary of his election to the throne, he staged a coronation in front of the recently-completed 'Iolani Palace. With no one of higher rank present in the Islands, Kalakaua placed a jeweled crown on his own head, then crowned his queen, Kapi'olani. In addition to assuming other Western-style insignia of the monarchy - a sword, ring and scepter - Kalakaua was presented with traditional items belonging to ruling Hawaiian chiefs: the feather cloak of Kamehameha I, the kahili (standard) of Pili, and the pulo'ulo'u (kapu stick) and lei palaoa (whale tooth pendant) of his ali'i ancestors.

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