Saturday, February 15, 2014


After a struggle of more than ten years, in 1791, Kamehameha succeeded in securing control over that island of Hawaiʻi (and later, the entire Hawaiian Islands chain.)

In getting there, he appointed Keʻeaumoku, Keaweaheulu, Kameʻeiamoku and Kamanawa to be his secret advisors (hoa kuka malu) and counselors (hoaʻahaʻolelo) in ruling the island. They alone were consulted about what would be for the good or the ill of the country.  (Kamakau)

Keaweaheulu Kaluaʻapana was a Hawaiian high chief and maternal great-grandfather of King Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani. He was among Kamehameha I's council of chiefs and was one of the “Kona Uncles.”  His father was the High Chief Heulu. He belonged to the ʻI, Mahikukulu and the Mahiʻololi families.  (Kamakau)

Late in 1790, Kamehameha sent an emissary to the famous kahuna (priest) Kapoukahi, to determine how Kamehameha could conquer all of the island of Hawaiʻi.  Kapoukahi prophesized that war would end if Kamehameha constructed a heiau dedicated to the war god Kū at Puʻukoholā.  (This was at about the same time that George Washington was serving as the US’s first president (1790.))

With Puʻukohola was completed in 1791, but, pending its formal consecration, Keaweaheulu and Kamanawa were dispatched to Kaʻū under a flag of truce, to invite Keōua to visit Kamehameha, with the view of arranging terms of peace.  (Kalākaua)

Kamehameha gave the order: "Go to Keōua Kuʻahuʻula and tell him that great is my desire to make friends (ike.) You are the best one to bear the message, for you are related to his mother, and he will heed your words sooner than anything I could say to him."  (Pratt)

By the time Keōua’s canoes arrived at Kawaihae, it was clear that Keōua expected Kamehameha’s warriors would try to kill him and all his supporters travelling with him in his canoe (“the wind clouds are gathering in the heavens for a storm.”

Just as Keōua was stepping from the canoe onto the beach at Kawaihae, Keʻeaumoku and other chiefs of Kamehameha's forces attacked and killed Keōua.

With Keōua dead, and his supporters captured or slain, Kamehameha became King of Hawaiʻi Island, an event that according to prophecy eventually led to the conquest and consolidation of the islands under the rule of Kamehameha I.

Keaweaheulu was at Kaʻawaloa at the time of Cook’s death; he assisted Kamehameha in his battles with Kiwalaʻo and Keōua on Hawaiʻi; he was at ʻIao in the Battle of Kepaniwai; he was at Molokaʻi when Kalola died and her granddaughter, Keōpūolani (Queen mother to Liholiho and Kauikeaouli) was given to Kamehameha.

Following the victories, Kamehameha made his Kona Uncles his governors (kuhina) and gave them large tracts of land from Hawaiʻi to Oʻahu in payment for their services; Kamehameha himself had no power to recover these lands. Keaweaheulu estates were the lands of Kapalilua, Kaʻawaloa and Kealakekua (South Kona.) (Kamakau)

Keaweaheulu was married to Ululani, one of the most renowned women of her day, being a chiefess of the Maui line and the outstanding poet of her generation.  She bore him two children who were to become equally famous.

They were Naihe, an accomplished Orator and athlete of Kona, and Keohohiwa.  It was through Keohohiwa that another legacy was founded in the Islands.

“My great-grandfather, Keawe-a-Heulu, the founder of the dynasty of the Kamehamehas, and Keōua (nui,) father of Kamehameha I, were own cousins (he was also brother of Mrs. Bishop's ancestress, Hakau), and my great-grandaunt was the celebrated Queen Kapiʻolani, one of the first converts to Christianity.”  (Liliʻuokalani)

“(Kapiʻolani) plucked the sacred berries from the borders of the volcano, descended to the boiling lava, and there, while singing Christian hymns, threw them into the lake of fire. This was the act which broke forever the power of Pele, the fire-goddess, over the hearts of her people.”  (Liliʻuokalani)

Since King Lunalilo did not nominate his successor, on his death an election of his successor was made by the legislature – Kalākaua became King by a count of 39 – 6 (over Queen Emma.)

“The contest for the succession which resulted in the elevation of my family - the Keawe-a-Heulu line – to royal honors is of course a matter of history.”  (Liliʻuokalani)

“The direct line of the “Kamehamehas” having become extinct, it was succeeded by the "Keawe-a-Heulu" line, its founder having been first cousin to the father of Kamehameha I.”  (Liliʻuokalani)

Kalākaua reigned from February 12, 1874 to January 20, 1891; his sister, Liliʻuokalani, reigned from January 29, 1891 to January 17, 1893.

Later, following the death of Liliʻuokalani, some lamented:
“Auwe, auwe, ua make kuu Aliʻi. Aole e hoi hou mai.”
(Alas, alas, dead is my chief. And no more will return.)

“Auwe, auwe, ua make kuu Aliʻi.”
(Alas, alas, gone is our chief, and now is the name no more.) (Hart)

The image shows genealogy for Keaweaheulu – to Kalākaua and Liliʻuokalani.

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