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King Kamehameha
the Great
Founder of the Hawaiian Kingdom
Kamehameha Day 
June 11

Royal House of Keoua Nui

 From the Royal House of Keoua Nui, Kalani Paiʻea Wohi o Kaleikini Kealiʻikui Kamehameha o ʻIolani i Kaiwikapu Kauʻi Ka Liholiho Kūnuiākea, became the most noted warrior and eventually conqueror of the whole Hawaiian archipelago.  Kamehameha was born at Kohala on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi and was the second son of Keōua Kalanikupuapaʻikalaninui by his second wife, she being his cousin Kekuʻiapoiwa, by lineage and blood, both paternally and maternally, Kamehameha was considered one of the highest of the high.  From his infancy, Kamehameha always showed signs of bravery and a great desire for athletic contests, spear-wielding, ulu maika and other magnificent exercises of that period. Kamehameha inherited the akua (god) Kūkaʻilimoku from his favorite uncle, the ruler, Kalaniopuʻu, brother of Keōua-nui. The significance of the name of the idol god bequeathed to him, "Kūkaʻilimoku", the word itself meaning "I Conquer".


Kamehameha was already the conqueror of Hawaiʻi, as well as Maui, Kahoʻolawe, Lanaʻi and Molokai. Kamehameha moved across to Oʻahu and set at Waikīkī and Waiʻalae.  In 1795, Kamehameha drove the warriors of Oʻahu's King Kalanikupule, up to Nuʻuanu valley as they plunged to their deaths over the Pali, eventually conquering Oʻahu.  Kauaʻi and Niʻihau was never conquered by Kamehameha and was a sovereign kingdom under King Kaumualiʻi.   However,  King Kaumualiʻi decided to negotiate a peaceful resolution rather than resort to bloodshed and war.  The move was supported by Kamehameha and Kaumualiʻi placed his islands under the sovereignty of Kamehameha, uniting the islands with the Kingdom being established under the absolute rule of King Kamehameha I in 1810. 


King Kamehameha Died on May 8, 1819 on the island of Hawaiʻi, his son, Liholiho ascended the throne under the title of Kamehameha II.

Queen Consort Kaʻahumanu, 

wife of King Kamehameha the Great, although they had no children.

King Kamehameha and Kalakua's children:

 Princess Kinau and Princess Kamamalu.


King Kamehameha and Kanekapolei's child:

Prince Pauli Ka`oleioku 

Queen Consort Keōpūolani, wife of King Kamehameha the Great



Prince Liholiho Iolani

 (King Kamehameha II), 

Prince Kauikeaouli

 (King Kamehameha III), 

& Princess Nahi`ena`ena

An American sculptor, Thomas R. Gould was commissioned to create a statue of Kamehameha by the legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom and modeled the figure at his studio in Rome in 1879. It was cast in bronze at a Paris foundry in 1880 but was lost in a shipwreck on its way to Hawaiʻi.


A second statue was cast from the same model and arrived safely, it was unveiled by King, Kalākaua, in 1883 in front of the Judiciary Building in Honolulu, where it still remains. The first statue was subsequently recovered and brought to Hawaiʻi in 1912. It was placed at Kohala Court House in Kapaʻau on the Island of Hawaiʻi.

A third statue was commissioned by the State Hawai‘i and unveiled on April 15, 1969 in Washington D.C. Statutory Hall, it was later moved to the Visitor's Center because of its size.

A fourth statue of King Kamehameha stands in Hilo, Hawai‘i at the north end of the Wailoa River State Park. The 14-foot sculpture was created by R. Sandrin in Vicenza, Italy in 1963 and erected at this site in June of 1997.

Statue unveiled by King Kalakaua located at Ali`iolani Hale, O`ahu

Statue lost at sea and recovered, installed at Kohala Court House in 1912 

Statue at Washington D.C. 

Statue at Wailoa River State Park

June 11 is proclaimed Kamehameha Day



We, Kamehameha V., by the Grace of God, of the Hawaiian Islands, King, do hereby proclaim, that it is OUR will and pleasure that the Eleventh day of June of each year be hereafter observed as a Public Holiday in memory of OUR Grandfather and Predecessor, KAMEHAMEHA I, the founder of the Hawaiian Kingdom.


Given at Iolani Palace, under OUR hand and the Great Seal of OUR Kingdom, this 22nd day of December, A. D. 1871.


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