When Anna died in 1995, Hawaii lost one of its most beloved community leaders. It had been Anna's dream to develop a heritage center on her ranch property to celebrate the history of ranching in Hawaii and the widely acknowledged legacy of her remarkable family.
In recognition of its importance, Anna Ranch was placed on the Hawaii State Register of Historic Places in 2005, and on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. The ranch house, built around 1910, and the out-buildings have been restored to a period reflecting both Anna's and her parents' time in residence. Beautiful gardens, the works of local artists, Hawaiian koa wood furniture, ranching gear and countless family photographs tell the story of their remarkable lives as ranchers in Hawaii's century of transition.
When visitors step into this piece of history, Anna's collections of pā'ū costumes, hats, boots and saddles along with her collections of fine china for gracious entertaining convey immediately the vibrant personality and boundless energy that made Anna Perry-Fiske a woman ahead of her time whose legacy continues to shape our island community.
The Pā'ū Tradition
Anna was known throughout the islands as an exceptional pā'ū rider.
Pā'ū riding is a uniquely Hawaiian equestrian style, now seen mainly in parades in the Islands. It is named for the pā'ū, an elaborately draped culotte-type skirt made from yards of material, worn by women on horseback.
Anna's mother, Mary Lindsey is shown in the picture to the left.
It was originally a protective covering for women as they rode from one social event to another along dusty or muddy trails.
Pā'ū riding evolved into an elaborate ceremonial display in which garlanded women could demonstrate their skilled and graceful horsemanship. Continuing a tradition handed down from her mother, also a well-known pā'ū rider, Anna raised this distinctly Hawaiian art to a new level.
In fact, some called Anna the "Queen of the Pā'ū Riders" as she won many awards for her contributions to the pā'ū tradition in parades throughout Hawaii.
She introduced pā'ū riding outside Hawaii by riding in both the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the Calgary Stampede in Canada. Her love of pā'ū led her to teach its customs and secrets to new generations of riders during her long life.