Kamehameha Kanaiaupuni (The Conquerer )
Alapa’inuiakauaua Son of Kauaua-a-Mahi and Kalanikauleleiaiwinui [Kalanikauleleiaiwi]; paramount chief of Hawai‘i Island; makua kāne hoahānau of Kamehameha I on the side of Kamehameha’s mother, Keku‘iapoiwa (II); father of Keawe‘ōpala; brother of Hā‘ae; led armies of Hawai‘i Island and Moloka‘i (c.1736) against the invading armies of O‘ahu; after five days of fighting at Kawela (“The heat”) in southern Moloka‘i, the O‘ahu chief Kapi‘iohookalani (“The head curls of the royal chief”) was killed and his O‘ahu army was defeated;[iv] defeated Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s warriors in battle; said to have poisoned Keōuakupuapāikalaninui [Keōuanui] (father of Kamehameha I); wives included Keaka, Kamaka‘imokou, and Kamaua; children included Keawe‘opala (son with Keaka), Manona (daughter with Kamaka‘imoku), and Kauwa‘a and Mahiua (daughter and son with Kamaua).
KA AHA ULA O KAMEHAMEHA KUNUIAKEA- Brook Kapukuniahi Parker
KA AHA ULA O KAMEHAMEHA KUNUIAKEA oil on canvas 24” X 36” l
Hawaii like the rest of Polynesia was ruled by councils of chiefs and was not a monarchy until much later in Hawaiian history. In Hawaii each island’s Alii-nui (supreme ruler) had his own council of chiefly advisors called “`Aha `Ula”. The term `Aha `Ula was one steeped in “kaona” (metaphor), one meaning is “aha”(chord or rope and sometimes prayer) and “ula” (red), referring to the sacred royal blood ties that united this circle of distinguished men. Another meaning could be expressed as the weaving of relatives into a sacred prayer circle tying them to their ancestors. Upon the death of the Alii-nui, the succeeding chief could keep the same advisors or select new ones.
The Aha `Ula was composed of the most powerful and highest ranked chiefs on each island. When Kalaniopu’u passed away, his son Kiwala’o succeeded him and retained most of his father’s chiefly advisors. But dissension between Kiwala’os faction and Kamehameha’s faction led to war, resulting with the early demise of Kiwala’o in the very first battle at Mokuohai, Kona. Kamehameha was the chosen leader of a group of chiefs representing Kohala, parts of Kona and parts of Hamakua. Kamehameha selected his own powerful uncles to surround him as his `Aha `Ula. Those included in this sacred circle of chiefs were Ke`eaumokupapaiahiahi, Kekuhaupi`o, Keaweaheulu, and the royal twins Kame`eiamoku and Kamanawa. These five primary chiefs were all “Pukaua”(war generals), each highly skilled in weaponry, martial arts and war strategies. Close to this governing circle was Holo’ae the Kahuna-nui (supreme high priest) and his grandson Hewahewa.
Most students of Hawaiian history are not aware of the fact that within Kamehameha`s `Aha `Ula were men who served dual roles as warrior generals as well as being high priests. Kamehameha himself, as keeper of the war god Kukailimoku was a high priest of the god Ku; therefore he was entitled to officiate in the temple rituals for Ku. During certain periods of the Hawaiian calendar such as when Makahiki was observed, Ku worship was dormant, and Lono became the primary god of the season. Kamehameha was not allowed to officiate at this time, but since Kame’eiamoku and Kamanawa were priests to the god Lono, they were. Therefore the religious control over the people never was relinquished at any time, but always remained within the scope of the `Aha `Ula.
Kamehameha’s `Ahu’ula remained faithful to him from his rise to power to the end, with their own deaths. Fearless and ruthless on the battlefield, just and fair in peace, these men were the matrix that held the government together. Without them the consolidation of this island archipelago would not have been possible. All died from various reasons before Kamehameha did. Most were replaced at their deaths by their own sons as a tribute to the love Kamehameha had for their fathers.