Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Solomon Lehuanui Kalaniomaiheuila Peleioholani

Solomon Lehuanui Kalaniomaiheuila Peleioholani (also called Peleioholani the 4th or Lehuanui, or simply, Peleioholani) (1843-1916) was the son of Peleioholani (uncle to the Kings Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V) and Piikeakaluaonalani (mother.)

His great grandfather was the high chief Keʻeaumoku (father of Kaʻahumanu,) one of the ablest supporters of Kamehameha I.

Keʻeaumoku distinguished himself in the battle of Mokuʻōhai, (a fight between Kamehameha and Kiwalaʻo in July, 1782 in which Kamehameha won and put the island of Hawaiʻi under his control – this led to his ultimate control of all the islands.)

Keʻeaumoku killed Kiwalaʻo in a hand-to-hand combat; however, Keʻeaumoku’s mamo ʻahuʻula (feather cape) was bloodstained in that fight.  The cape, named “Eheukani” was later passed down through generations to Peleioholani.

Solomon LK Peleioholani, one of the highest surviving Hawaiian chiefs, was the man who stood before Lunalilo when he was crowned King of the Hawaiian Islands, wearing the famous cape, helmet and necklace, and also stood before Kalākaua at his coronation.  (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, January 22, 1902)

Unfortunately, “Eheukani” was later lost and presumed destroyed, along with other chiefly regalia and precious possessions belonging to Solomon LK Peleioholani, during the great Chinatown Fire of 1900.

As a boy, Peleioholani was the protégé of Kamehameha IV and his Queen Emma and the companion of their son Prince Albert (“Ka Haku O Hawaiʻi, “The Lord of Hawaiʻi.”)

During the short life of the little Prince, Peleioholani was his playmate, and both were treated with utmost respect by all they met. During this time, Peleioholani lived at the residence of Kekūanāo’a (hānai father of Bernice Pauahi Bishop.)  (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, January 22, 1902)

After the Prince’s death, Peleioholani traveled; for five years, he made voyages visiting the South Seas, Japan, Manila and the Indian Ocean.  (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, January 22, 1902)

One day, a steamer came into port and Peleioholani was given an opportunity to go with her to Australia. He remained there, became a British subject, drilled with the Australians who were to do service for the Queen in Africa, and he went in a transport to the eastern coast of South Africa, arriving there as a sub-officer.

He was a Hawaiian Chief who fought in Africa.

“Destiny seems to have called him to become a soldier as his ancestors were warriors in the service of Kamehameha I. The blood of brave men flowed through his veins and from his infancy he had heard almost daily the tales of the deeds done by his great grandfather”.  (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, January 22, 1902)

The blacks were on the shore that day, October 22, 1869, when the troops commenced to land. The ships opened fire upon them and attempted to land men in launches. Seven of the latter were disabled.

From one of them Peleioholani was forced to swim back to the ship, carrying nothing but his sword and belt.  He obtained another launch and thus from 2 until 5:30 o’clock in the afternoon the landing went on, the troops finally driving the enemy back.  (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, January 22, 1902)

When they went to England, Queen Victoria (Prince Albert's godmother) gave Peleioholani a service medal for bravery on the battlefields of Africa.

The Queen asked is nationality. “I told her I was Hawaiian. I told her my great grandfather had accompanied Kamehameha II to England. I told her Kamehameha V was my King.”  (Peleioholani, Pacific Commercial Advertiser, January 22, 1902)

In 1874, he returned to Hawaiʻi and was a well-respected genealogist.  For many, Peleioholani was considered an important Hawaiian antiquarian and the final word in Hawaiian genealogy, especially of the chiefs and royal families.

He also wrote of the Hawaiian history.  One work, ‘The Ancient History of Hookumu-ka-lani Hookumu-ka-honua,’ was a commentary of the ancient Hawaiian cosmogonies (creation theories.)

One of Peleioholani’s theories in that book notes, “The ancestors of the Hawaiian race came not from the islands the South Pacific – for the immigrants from that direction were late arrivals there – but from the northern direction (welau lani,) that is, from the land of Kalonakikeke, now known as Alaska.”

Peleioholani was a High Chief, and in many ways both the pinnacle and terminus of the old royal blood lines from Maui, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi and Kauaʻi.

His grandparents were among those who sided with Kamehameha I to achieve unity of the islands. His father was an uncle to the Kings Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V and he was himself one of the highest ranking chiefs in the Hawaiian Islands.  (kekoolani-org)

Besides being a direct lineal descendant of all the last independent ruling kings, he was also descended from what Hawaiian scholar Mary Pukui called the “chiefs of Pōkano,” chiefs of unblemished bloodline from remote times.  (kekoolani-org)

The image shows Solomon LK Peleioholani in 1903 in a holiday pageant costume.  (Lots of information here from Pacific Commercial Advertiser, January 22, 1902 and kekoolani-org.)

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