The mission of the Mu’umu’u Library
is to build a sustainable fashion community which promotes the education of women and children.
Re-opening coming soon! 

What will you find at the Mu’umu’u Library?

  • Archive of dresses, sewing patterns, and literature

  • Sewing classes for women and teens

  • Classes promoting literacy in both the English and Hawaiian languages

  • Keiki & Kupuna Storytimes 

  • Book clubs and tutoring services

  • Internship and scholarship opportunities

 

The Inspiration

 

By wearing mu'umu'u, our community strives to perpetuate a tradition of  fashion, friendship, and education. The Hawaiian monarchy along with American missionary wives formed a bond through the sewing of mu'umu'u that paved the way for the birth of a written Hawaiian language and the world's highest literacy rates by the mid-1800's.

In the West, a similar style dress became popularized by illustrations in children's literature. The nursery rhyme books of Kate Greenaway were loved by parents and children alike. Mothers began to dress their little ones in a similar fashion as the nursery rhyme characters.

 

The dress became known as the Mother Hubbard dress and was worn by American women as a feminist fashion statement. Women wore the Mother Hubbard dress in protest against the use of corsets during the late Victorian era and were worn despite criticism from local governments and harassment by men.

In a time when fast fashion has become a societal norm, the Mu'umu'u Library will continue a tradition of countercultural fashion. By honoring this history, we hope to elevate and educate the women of our island community. 

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