Honolulu in Honolulu County, Hawaii — Hawaiian Island Archipelago (Pacific Ocean)
King Kamehameha I
Thomas Ridgeway Gould
— Bronze, 1883 —
As befits a man of enormous historic and symbolic importance, this statue depicts King Kamehameha I wearing the regalia of an ali’i nui (paramount chief or king) which includes the mahiole (feathered helmet), the ‘ahu‘ula (a long feathered cloak signifying chiefly rank), and the ka ‘el kapu o Liole (the sacred sash of Liloa, a feathered sash, worn around the waist and over the shoulder, a symbol of supreme authority). He carries the ihe laumeki (barbed spear) in his left hand to symbolize his life as a brave warrior. He extends his right hand in a welcoming gesture of aloha to denote his life as a wise and just statesman and unifier of a people and a kingdom.
Display of Courage. As a young boy, Kamehameha received training in the various Hawaiian martial arts while residing in Ka‘ū with his uncle, Kalani‘ōpu‘u. Here the warrior-chief displays his courage and his special gift at deflecting and seizing spears hurled all at once.
Aboard the H.M.S. Resolution. Offshore the island of Maui in 1778, the young chief Kamehameha is welcomed aboard the H.M.S. Resolution by British explorer Captain James Cook. Captain Cook commanded the first foreign fleet to visit the Hawaiian Islands.
Ka ‘Au Wa‘a Peleleu. King Kamehameha I here reviews his famous ‘au wa‘a peleleu, a fleet of war canoes. The fleet, which consisted of up to 800 double-hulled canoes carved from massive koa trees, was capable of transporting up to 8000 warriors between the islands.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & Politics • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1778.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 417 S King St, Honolulu HI 96813, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Aliiolani Hale (within shouting distance of this marker); Iolani Palace (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); King William Charles Lunalilo (about 600 feet away); Kawaiaha‘o Landmark (about 600 feet away); Kawaiaha'o Church (about 700 feet away); Hiram Bingham (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Kawaiaha'o Landmark (approx. 0.2 miles away); Reverend James Kekela (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Honolulu.
Regarding King Kamehameha I. Thomas Ridgeway Gould was commissioned to create a statue of Kamehameha by the legislature of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. He modeled the figure at his studio in Rome in 1879 and it was cast in Paris in 1880. The statue was lost in a shipwreck on its way to Hawaii. A second statue was cast from the same mold, arrived safely, and was unveiled by Hawaiʻi’s last king, Kalakaua, in 1883. The first statue was subsequently recovered and in 1912 it was placed at Kohala Court
Also see . . .
1. Kamehameha I. Wikipedia entry. “When Kamehameha (Paiʻea) was born, [Chief] Alapaʻi ordered the child killed. One of his kahuna had warned him that a fiery light in the sky [ Halley’s Comet] would signal the birth of a ‘killer of chiefs,’ or aliʻi. Alapaʻi, nervous at the thought of this child eventually usurping his rule, decided to take no chances. Paiʻea’s parents, however, had anticipated this. As soon as he was born, he was given into the care of Naeʻole, another aliʻi, and disappeared from sight. Naeʻole raised Paiʻea for the first few years of his life. Five years after his birth, Alapaʻi, perhaps remorseful of his actions, invited the child back to live with his family. There under the guidance of his kahu (teacher), Kekuhaupiʻo, he learned the ways of court diplomacy and war.” (Submitted on November 15, 2008.)
2. Wikipedia entry for the three Kamehameha Statues. (Submitted on January 27, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Pacific Islanders
Credits. This page was last revised on November 17, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 15, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 4,944 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. submitted on November 15, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. 15. submitted on January 27, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 16, 17. submitted on April 27, 2014, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California.