Kaʻahumanu, was born on the island of Maui in 1772, commemorating on the date of March 17 and was the favorite queen of King Kamehameha the Great, Founder of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

 

Her mother was Namahanaʻikaleleokalani and her father was Keʻeaumoku Pāpaʻiahiahi.

 

Early in life she was betrothed to King Kamehameha I, whom her father had served as counselor.  They married and she supported him in his efforts to unite the islands of the archipelago under his central authority and shared largely in their governance.

After Kamehameha's death in 1819, Kaʻahumanu became Kuhina nui (premier) to his successor, Liholiho - King Kamehameha II, and instigated many reforms. She worked in particular to overcome the taboos placed on women (ai kapu), in persuading King Kamehameha II to eat publicly with women.

 

She was encouraged by the Protestant missionaries from New England who began arriving in 1820 and learned to read and write from them.

Queen Kaʻahumanu
1772-1832

When Liholiho (King Kamehameha II) went to England in 1823, he had died there with his queen, Kamāmalu.  Kaʻahumanu was appointed regent until Kauikeaouli, (King Kamehameha III) should come of age. She worked closely with the Christian missionaries and was baptized in 1825, along with her sister, Namahana Piʻia and her husband, Gideon Peleioholani Laʻanui who was King Kamehameha the Great's nephew.  She traveled much among the islands, promoting the evangelizing and educational work of the missionaries. 

 

Kaʻahumanu passed away on June 5, 1832