Mary Kawena Pukui subject of Native American dollar
- Published: Nov 27, 2023, 10 AM
The reverse design for the 2025 Native American dollar will recognize Native Hawaiian scholar, author, composer, and dancer Mary Kawena Pukui.
The Commission of Fine Arts Nov. 16 recommended one proposed reverse design from among 10 designs submitted through the United States Mint.
Whatever final design is approved by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will be paired with the common obverse for the series featuring a portrait of Sacagawea used on the dollar from 2000 through 2008, and continued with the Native American dollar series starting in 2009.
Pukui’s translations, compositions, and ethnographic work have sustained the Hawaiian language and culture for generations.
Through her extensive career at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Pukui produced more than 52 published titles, 150 songs and chants, and countless other authoritative written works that shared aspects of the Hawaiian language and culture to the broader public.
She co-authored one of the most comprehensive Hawaiian dictionaries to date, as well as a collection of 2,941 Hawaiian proverbs and sayings that continues to be a popular text in Hawaii.
The CFA’s recommended design illustrates a portrait of Pukui wearing an aloha print garment and holding a kukui nut lei. A stylized depiction of water is used as a background element.
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