Ka’opulpulu and his son Kahulupu’e are killed by O’ahu Chief Kahahana- Brook Kapukuniahi Parker
Ka’opulpulu and his son Kahulupu’e are killed by O’ahu Chief Kahahana.
Ka’opulupulu was a Kahuna Nui from O’ahu. The ruling chief of O’ahu at the time was Kumahana, son of Peleioholani. He is the opposite of his father. People of O’ahu were not happy with his rule; he was indolent, stingy, selfish, and wasteful and was deaf to the advice of others. The chiefs, priest and commoners devised a plan which removed him from power. Kahahana is chosen as a replacement as Ali’i Nui over O’ahu.
Kahahana is the son of Peleioholani’s sister, Kaionuilalaha’i and his father was Chief Elani. While as an infant he was taken to Maui and raised as the foster son of Kahekili. Kahahana ends up married to Kahekili’s younger sister Kekuapoi and was living on Maui at the time when he is asked to return and be ruler over O’ahu. Kahahana is dictated by protocol to seek Kahekili’s approval. He feigns great grief (calling them his children) at the future absence of his young sister and younger brother in law. He will only approve if his grief is to be compensated by Kahahana ceding to him the O’ahu lands of Kualoa and its supply of whale ivory, for this is the place the whales drifted ashore. Kahahana innocently agrees to this request. At his installation ceremony the O’ahu contingent is notified of Kahekili’s request for the Kualoa lands. Ka’opulupulu the Kahuna Nui explains to Kahahana that that land is the most sacred land on O’ahu, and one of the most sacred places in the Hawaiian archipelago. He told Kahahana that if he gave these lands away, Kahekili would be ruler over the lands and he would become a vassal in Kahekili’s hand. Any other request could have been granted but not this one. When Kahekili is informed of the decision by his spies he is extremely bitter.
Kahekili’s Kahuna Nui is Ka’opulupulu’s younger brother Kaleopulupulu. He is jealous of his older brother and incogjunction with Kahekili, conceives a plan to destroy his older brother by planting lies in the mind of Kahahana. Time passes and following a meeting on Moloka’i, Kahekili asks Kahahana about the Kualoa lands. He is told that they have been held back by Ka’opulupulu. Kahekili replies deceitfully; “That is strange, Ka’opulupulu offered me the whole dominion over O’ahu but I refused for your sake. With the seeds of suspicion planted deep in Kahahana’s mind Kahekili return’s to Maui.
Kahahana returns to O’ahu and takes a turn for the worst and starts to lay burdens upon the people and desecrates some of the sacred sites and iwi (bones). Ka’opulupulu warns him he is headed in the wrong direction, but due to the lies already planted, he ignores those warnings. Ka’opulupulu, and all his followers, relatives and members of his household tattoo their knees as a sign of the chief’s deafness to his admonitions. (The word “kuli” means both knee and deaf).
After a few years Kahekili continues to plant more lies and Kahahana decides to tour the island of O’ahu with the main intent to put to death his trusted advisor. Ka’opulupulu is requested to come to meet the chief in Waianae. Ka’opulupulu and his only son Kahulupu’e leave their home in Waimea/Pupukea and start for Waianae. They stop in Kaena Point to pray for guidance.
Ka’opulupulu tells his son the god’s showed him that they would die however they still had two choices, the one to life in which they would not gain vengeance in this life; but the other to death would be avenged by Kahahana losing both his life and his kingdom with no survivors among his offspring. He suggests the road to death, his son Kahulupu’e consents. As they approached, Kahahana ordered the death of Kahulupu’e. Before the soldiers could act, Kahulupu’e run’s and heads for the sea. Ka’opulupulu calls out to his son, “Take a deep breath and give your body to the sea; the land is the sea’s!” the boy does so and drowns. Ka’opulupulu is taken to Pu’uloa and killed.
Word reaches Kahekili that “the pillar that held up O’ahu” is now gone and decides to attack O’ahu with his huge army. The battle commences with huge slaughter on the side of the O’ahu forces. Kahahana manages to elude capture for a few years but is later betrayed by his brother in law and is killed. The remainders of his chiefs tried to retaliate with one final thrust but are quickly squashed and those armies annihilated. Men, women, children and even the elders were killed indiscriminately by the Maui armies, there homes and villages were burned to the ground. One of Kahekili’s pukaua’s (generals) Kalaikoa stripped the bones of all the important chiefs and their wives and built a house of bones located on the slopes near Moanalua Park (near Fort Shafter, O’ahu). The few remaining defenders fled to Kauai or hid in the uplands of O’ahu, some changing their last names to disguise their genealogy links to any of the O’ahu royal families. The prophecy uttered by Ka’opulupulu was fulfilled.
Artist comments: This was also a difficult rendering to do due to its content. Jealously, greed and power are character traits that seem to rear their ugly heads in all generations and in the annals of history. Mahalo to Keola Akana for his mana’o in the inclusion of this very poignant story.
King Kalaniopu’u Welcoming Cook to Kealakekua Bay
Nine days after the Cook expedition anchored at Kealakekua Bay, the king arrived from Maui with his war fleet. Captain Cook was surprised to find that it was the same elderly chief he had met at sea off Maui almost two months earlier. The next morning, the king cleared the bay of all canoes, then came out with three large canoes. The first carried the king and many chiefs, and was laden with brilliant feather capes. The second carried priests and large feather-covered spirit images, and the third was heavily loaded with provisions. A stately procession was made around Cook’s ships, perhaps the most impressive spectacle the British had seen in the entire Pacific.
The next morning, the king cleared the bay of all canoes, then came out with three large canoes. The first carried the king and many chiefs, and was laden with brilliant feather capes.
The second carried priests and large feather-covered spirit images, and the third was heavily loaded with provisions. A stately procession was made around Cook’s ships, perhaps the most impressive spectacle the British had seen in the entire Pacific.
Masked Paddlers at Kealakekua Bay- Herb Kawainui Kane
Masked Paddlers at Kealakekua Bay- Herb Kawainui Kane
From the deck of the Resolution, John Webber, artist with Captain Cook, made a quick pencil sketch of masked paddlers in a small double canoe. Later, after his departure from Hawai’i, he refined it as a watercolor painting, but his original hurried sketch was incomplete, without sufficient details on the rigging and construction of the canoe, and Webber’s attempt to recreate such details from memory resulted in errors. Although his pencil sketch showed six paddlers in each hull, his painting shows five, and he also reduced the size of the sail from that depicted in his sketch, presumably to fit it all within the sheet of his paper. Now, with apologies to Webber, whose work he admires, Herb Kane has applied his knowledge of Hawaiian canoes to correct these errors in what he calls “the painting that took 200 years to complete.”
Nothing is known about the gourd masks, crested with ferns and bearded with tapa streamers, except they were seen and recorded by Webber in several drawings. The men may have been members of a priesthood, for the man on the center deck is carrying a feathered image, and a sacrificial pig has been killed and set beside him. The canoe is on course toward Hikiau Heiau, the temple on the eastern side of the bay, and the yellow-dyed tapa capes proclaims them as men of status. This was during the Makahiki Seaon, the season when warfare, politics, or any of men’s work done under the patronage of the god Ku was held in abeyance. One might conclude that in this time of the god Lono, the priests of Ku must be masked…
Keku’iapoiwa II- Brook Kapukuniahi Parker
Kekuʻiapoiwa II- Brook Kapukuniahi Parker
Kekuʻiapoiwa II, was a Hawaiian High Chiefess and the mother of The Great King Kamehameha I.
She was named after her aunt Kekuʻiapoiwa Nui (also known as Kekuʻiapoiwa I), the wife of King Kekaulike of Maui. Her father was High Chief Haʻae, the son of the very famous High Chiefess Kalanikauleleiaiwi and High Chief Kauaua-nui-a-Mahi of the Famous Mahi family of the Kohala district of Hawaiʻi island, and brother of Alapainui (Future King of Hawai’i). Her mother was Princess Kekelakekeokalani-a-Keawe (Kekelaokalani I), daughter of the same Kalanikauleleiaiwi and Keaweikekahiali`iokamoku, Ali`i Aimoku of Hawai`i (King and Queen of Hawai’i).
Her mother had been sought after by many who wished to marry into the royal Keawe line. She was the niece of Alapainui (Future King of Hawai’i) a kauaua through her father. She married the High Chief Keōua Kalanikupuapaikalaninui to whom she had been betrothed since childhood.
Many stories are told about the birth of Kamehameha. Kamehameha is known a Po’olua chief, or one with two fathers (like the royal twins, Kamanawa and Kame’eiamoku). One of those fathers being Keōua, the other Kahekilinuiahumanu (Future King of Maui). Kekuʻiapoiwa II visted her Royal aunt Queen Kekuʻiapoiwa I of Maui. Her aunt was married to Kaulahea, the King of Maui. While there visiting her aunt, Kekuiapoiwa II’s first cousin Kahekilinuiahumanu (Future King of Maui) became romantically involved with her. She became pregnant and decided to return to her husband Keōua Kalanikupuapaikalaninui on the island of Hawai’i.
At this time in Hawaiian history, her grandfather, King Keaweikekahi-ali`iokamoku of Hawai’i had passed away. Keku’iapoiwa’s father and uncles went to war to seize control of Hawai’i. In the process, her father and other uncles were killed in battle. Her uncle Alapainui emerged the victor, and was recognized as King of Hawai’i. Even though he had killed her husbands father in battle, he adopted her husband Keōua Kalanikupuapaikalaninui and his half brother, Kalani’opu’u (Future King of Hawai’i).
The rumor of her pregnancy preceded her return to Hawai’i. Alapainui (King of Hawai’i) secretly made plans to have the newborn infant killed. A bitter rivalry had developed between the Hawa’ai and Maui chiefs and Alapa’i did not want to risk the offspring of a rival family being born in his court. One says that when Kekuʻiapoiwa was pregnant with Kamehameha, she had a craving for the eyeball of a chief. She was given the eyeball of a man-eating shark and the priests prophesied that this meant the child would be a rebel and a killer of chiefs.
In the month of Ikuwa (probably winter) Kekuʻiapoiwa’s time came on a stormy night in the Kohala district, when a strange star with a tail of white fire appeared in the western sky. This could have been Halley’s Comet which appeared near the end of 1758, although my personal family history dates Kamehameha’s birthdate as June 11, 1736. According to one legend, the baby was passed through a hole in the side of Kekuiapoiwa’s thatched hut to a local Kohala chief named Naeʻole, who carried the child to safety at Awini on the island’s north coast. Another legend holds that Kamehameha was born on a canoe in the channel between island of Maui and Hawaii (symbolizing Kamehameha’s future union of the two islands). By the time the infant in Naeʻole’s care was five, Alapainui (King of Hawai’i) had accepted him back to the boy into his household.
Thus the child, a son, was born and reared in loneliness. His Hawai’i Island ancestors say the name Kamehameha was given because of his isolated up bringing. His Maui ancestors say that he was named in honor of his father Kahekili’s older brother, Kamehameha nui ai luau.
A few years later, Keōua died in Hilo, and the family moved with Alapainui (King of Hawaii) to an area near Kawaihae, where she married Sacred High Chief of the Kona district Kamanawa (twin po’olua brother to Kame’eiamoku, as seen on the Hawaiian Royal Seal). Kamanawa and Kame’eiamoku had been made kapu (sacred) by their older brother Kahekili (King of Maui and father of Kamehameha) and instructed to serve as Kamehameha’s kahu (guardians) and protect, advise, guide and teach him.
Keku’iapoiwa II had one daughter, Piʻipiʻi Kalani-kahiwauliakama, with Kamanawa. Kamanawa would later become an important military ally of Kamehameha, who was both step son and cousin through several relationships. Kamanawa, along with four other family members, formed the Aha ‘Ula (the Sacred Red Chord) or symbolically the Royal Chiefly Council tied together by blood. Together this sacred council of five led and advised Kamehameha through his successful conquest of the Hawaiian Islands…
Mahalo to cousin Brook for painting this masterpiece. This is the first rendering of Keku’iapoiwa II to date. Brook told me he saw her in a dream and the next day let the paintbrush move on the canvas. I can see the KU (warrior) in tutu’s eyes.
Mai iloko mai. E pili mau na pomaika’i ia ’oe Keku’iapoiwa. E hana me ka ha’ aha’ a. Aloha wau ia ‘oe. Makemake ‘oe.
Me ka ha’ aha’ a,
Ke Akua pu a hui hou…
Kamehameha I By Brooke K. Parker
Kamehameha I By Brooke K. Parker
High Chief Kamehameha Kunuiakea is known worldwide. His exploits and accomplishments are legion. It would be impossible to include even the highlights of his life in a bio-capsule such as this. An attempt will be made only to accompany the portrait of this unique individual (c. 1737–May 8, 1819), also known as Kamehameha the Great, conquered the Hawaiian Islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi in 1810. By developing alliances with the major Pacific colonial powers, Kamehameha preserved Hawaiʻi’s independence under his rule. Kamehameha is remembered for the Kanawai Mamalahoe, the “Law of the Splintered Paddle”, which protects human rights of non-combatants in times of battle. Kamehameha’s full Hawaiian name is Kalani Paiʻea Wohi o Kaleikini Kealiʻikui Kamehameha o ʻIolani i Kaiwikapu kaui Ka Liholiho Kūnuiākea.
more on kamehameha sometime later
Kekuhaupi’o By Brooke K. Parker
Kekuhaupi’o By Brooke K. Parker
Kekuhaupi’o was the senior advisor to Kamehameha. Of the five members of the Aha ‘Ula (the sacred red chord) or symbolically the royal chiefly council tied together by blood, Kekuhaupi’o had the most influence on the life of the young Kamehameha. He was responsible for all the training of his young charge including military science, martial arts, use of weapons, genealogy, farming, fishing, and physical training. Kekuhaupi’o was a descendant of the royal Pi’ilani line of Maui through Lonohonuakini (as is my family, through another member of the Aha ‘Ula, Kamanawa). This lineage made him an uncle to Kamehameha. Kekuhaupi’o was by not tall, with very wide shoulders, large hands and long fingers. His grip was extremely strong and his moves were lightning quick.
Navigator on the Observatory
Ke’eaumokupapa’iahiahi By Brooke K. Parker
Keʻeaumoku Pāpaʻiahiahi- Brooke K. Parker
Keʻeaumoku Pāpaʻiahiahi (1736–1804) was a Hawaiian high chief and the father of Kaʻahumanu. His father was Hawaiʻi island chief Keawepoepoe and his mother was Kūmaʻaikū. Keʻeaumoku was a warlike and ambitious chief of the Kona district of Hawaiʻi island. He was among the first of five Kona chiefs to back Kamehameha I against his cousin Kiwalaʻo. In 1782, at the Battle of Mokuʻōhai near Keʻei, Kona, Keʻeaumoku led Kamehameha’s warriors to victory, and Kīwalaʻō was killed. Kīwalaʻō was wearing an ʻahu ʻula (red feather cloak), which then became the property of Kamehameha (this feathered cloak is now in the collection of the Bishop Museum). One account states that the injured Keʻeaumoku Pāpaʻiaheahe crawled to Kīwalaʻō, who also had been injured, and then Keʻeaumoku Pāpaʻiaheahe slit the neck of Kīwalaʻō with a leiomano (shark-tooth weapon). While preparing for an invasion of Kauaʻi island against King Kaumualiʻi, an epidemic called maʻi ʻōkuʻu (likely cholera) infected King Kamehameha and many of his troops, killing thousands. Many of Kamehameha’s warriors died from the disease. Among them was Keʻeaumoku on March 21, 1804.
Keʻeaumoku was half brother to Kame’eiamoku and Kamanawa, sharing a father in Keawepoepoe (High Chief of Hawai’i).
The Secret Night Voyage of Kamehameha III
In 1794 Captain Vancouver and Hawaii’s King Kamehameha agreed upon a treaty that could have brought Hawai’i into the British Empire. The treaty was never ratified, and an 1810 letter from Kamehameha to King George III makes it clear that he interpreted the agreement as one of free association, not cession. But the friendship between Kamehameha and Vancouver was honored in Hawaiian memory, and strengthened by the sympathy shown by Britain on the deaths of Liholiho, Kamehameha II, and Queen Kamamalu in London in 1824. It was an aloha that survived the difficulties caused by a few British citizens in Honolulu who seemed unable to stay out of trouble and made unreasonable demands on Kauikeaouli, King Kamehameha III.
Their complaints were taken up by Lord George Paulet, arriving in 1843 as the captain of a British warship. Acting without instructions from his superior, Paulet pestered the king with demands, at last announcing that if the King did not abdicate and cede Hawai’i to Britain he would turn his ship’s cannon on Honolulu.
Faced with a threat of destruction of Honolulu and harm to his subjects, the king avoided further trouble by granting provisional cession to Britain and disappearing to Maui; but he kept in contact with an American confidant, Dr. Gerritt Judd, who drafted a letter of protest to the British government and letters authorizing a messenger to take the letter to Paulet’s superior, Admiral Thomas, and if necessary to London. To avoid Paulet’s spies, Judd worked in secrecy by candlelight in the royal tomb. When all was ready, word was sent to the king. Sailing by canoe, he left Maui, landed near Honolulu in darkness, and signed the papers.
Paulet, strutting about as self-proclaimed dictator, did not know that the policy of the British government toward the Pacific islands had changed from one of imperialism to one of courtesy, forbearance and diplomacy. When the head of British naval presence in the Pacific, Admiral Richard Thomas, learned of Paulet’s behavior, he hastened to Hawai’i and revoked Paulet’s self-assumed authority. At a joyous ceremony in what later became a park named Thomas Square, the Union Jack was lowered and the Hawaiian flag raised: Kamehameha III then made a statement that became the motto of Hawai’i: “Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono” - “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.”
Kukona- Brooke K. Parker
Kukona was the Ali’i Aimoku or sovereign of Kaua’i when Kalaunuiohua of Hawai’i made his descent on the coast of Koloa, and in that neighborhood was met by Kukona and all the Kaua’i chiefs. On the hills above Koloa on the island of Kaua`i stood the heiau and enclosures of the palace of the reigning king of that island kingdom, the gracious Kukona.
His name became in Hawai`i the symbol of the very highest ideals of chivalry in battle. Long before the great sails of Hawai`i and her allies were seen, the court priests of Kaua`i had come before Kukona to warn him of the impending invasion. “And what is the outcome to be?” Kukona had asked, “Victory or defeat for us?” The priests had answered one word, “Victory!” Kukona turned his eyes away and he wept, “O, that the blood of my people and my children, must flow again over their sacred land”.
Kukona was victorious in defending his lands and people from the invading armies. He spared the kings who had come to conquer him. Instead of death, he gave them presents: to their men he gave provisions and supplies. He repaired their canoes and gave them more from his own fleets. He sent them back to their own realms over the seas in the regal state befitting a sovereign king of Hawai`i.
The Arrival of Keoua below Pu’ukohola Heiau- Herb Kawainui Kane
When the temple was completed, Kamehameha sent emissaries ( one of the royal niau-pio twins, his step-father and guardian, Kamanawa) to his rival for the rule of Hawai’i island, the chief Keoua, inviting him to parley. Keoua, shaken by the loss of a third of his army in a volcanic eruption, and believing that the goddess Pele was now against him, accepted, heedless of the warnings of his advisors, He sailed with his fleet, asking that those who were in his canoe be prepared to be his companions in death. As they neared a landing, Kamehameha stepped into the water and called to Keoua to come ashore; but one of his chiefs (Keeauoku) in a sudden rage, threw a spear. Before the fight could be stopped Keoua and all but one of those in his canoe were killed. The island of Hawai’i was won.