8 Hapa Women Who Made History

By Melissa Slaughter


How many of us remember what we learned in history class in high school or college? I know I don’t. The history I remember is what I learned outside of class because it was also more fascinating than studying whatever war my teacher thought was important.

Last year we featured the three Hapa women who hold political office. This year for Women’s History Month, we wanted to celebrate the mixed AAPI women who made history! Weird coincidence: three of these women were born on October 16!



Maria Guyomar de Pinha (1664 – 1728)

The wax sculpture of Marie Guyomar de Pinha

The wax sculpture of Marie Guyomar de Pinha

Maria was born in Siam to a Japanese mother and Portuguese-Japanese father. She lived with her affluent family during the reign of King Narai. Her life story is enough to make its own period piece (her Greek husband almost became the King of Siam). But she is famous on her own merits for her desserts!

She began presenting Thai desserts with a Portuguese influence to the Siamese court, thus cementing them as a perennial part of Thai cuisine. Read more about Maria Guyomar De Pinha here!



Melissa has lived in all four time zones in the contiguous United States. A former actor in Seattle, WA, Melissa now resides in NYC as a content creator. She is the producer of the We're Not All Ninjas podcast, which she also hosts with fellow Hapa Mag writer, Alex Chester. Melissa also writes for online blogs Nerdophiles and The Nerds of Color. Find her @NotAllNinjasPod.