Kame’eiamoku and Kamanawa By Brooke K. Parker
Kame’eiamoku and Kamanawa
By Brooke K. Parker
The twins are the most recognizable and best known of all of King Kamehameha’s royal councilors. They are seen as heraldic supporters on the Royal Coats of Arms of the Hawaiian Monarchy from King Kamehameha III through the reign of Queen Lili’u’okalani. Kame’eiamoku holds the spear and Kamanawa holds the kahili.
The twins were born on the island of Hawai’i and were the sons of Kanoena, their high born Chiefess mother, and "Po’olua" (two heads’ sons of Keawepoepoe (High Chief of Hawai’i) and Mo’i Kekaulike (King of Maui). (Polygamous marriages in ancient Hawaii led to instances where paternity was in question, so genealogical claims for both paternal lines were recognized and accepted.) They inherited the “Kapu Wela” (burning kapu) from their Maui lineage and the "Kapu Lama Kukui" (blazing torches at noon kapu) from their Hawai’i lineages.
Of all the councilors, they are the most closely related to Kamehameha. The twins were also half brothers to Mo’i Kahekilii, Kalola, Kamehamehanuiailuau, Kauhiaimokuakama, Kekumanoha, Ke’eaumokuapaiahiahi, Keawema’uhili and Namahana. The twins other relatives were listed among the who’s who of Hawaiian aristocracy. When Kame’eiamoku and Kamanawa were living on Maui, their older brother Mo’i Kahahekili (King of Maui), made them “Kapu” (“sacred”) and sent them to Hawaii to stay by Kamehameha’s side and be his “Kahu" (gardians). Kahekili is recognized as one po’olua father to Kamehameha. His other po’olua father was Keoua (half brother of Kalaniopu’u (King of Hawai’i) with the same mother) of Hawaii. The twins were instructed by Kahekili to protect, advise, guide and teach Kamehameha. They remained faithful to their young charge during the reign of Mo’i Alapa’i (King of Hawai’i), and after his death, Mo’i Kalaniopu’u’s (King of Hawai’i) that followed. They continued serving well into Kamehameha’s own rise to power. They conquered the island of Hawai’i following the death of Mo’i Kalanipou’u and preceded to take Maui (and with it Lana’i and Moloka’i) and Oahu. Kaua’i conceded and victory was had. The kingdom of Hawai’i was created in 1810. They were by his side until their own deaths preceded the culmination of his conquests.