King Kamehameha The Great

June 11, 2013 by  

King Kamehameha The Great, Kamehameha I ( 1758 – May 8, 1819), also known as Kamehameha the Great, conquered the Hawaiian Islands and formally established the Kingdom of HawaiÊ»i in 1810. By developing alliances with the major Pacific colonial powers, Kamehameha preserved HawaiÊ»i’s independence under his rule. Kamehameha is remembered for the Kanawai Mamalahoe, the “Law of the Splintered Paddle”, which protects human rights of non-combatants in times of battle. Kamehameha’s full Hawaiian name is Kalani PaiÊ»ea Wohi o Kaleikini KealiÊ»ikui Kamehameha o Ê»Iolani i Kaiwikapu kaui Ka Liholiho KÅ«nuiākea.

Although there is some debate as to the precise year of his birth, Hawaiian legend claimed that a great king would one day unite the islands, and that the sign of his birth would be a comet. Halley’s comet was visible from HawaiÊ»i in 1758 and it is likely Kamehameha was born shortly after its appearance. Traditional chants indicate he was born in the month of ikuwā (winter) or around November. According to Hawaiian historians Samuel Kamakau:66-69 and later Abraham Fornander:136, Kamehameha was born in 1736, but this date has been widely contested by earlier Hawaiian historians such as James Jackson Jarves, eyewitness observations on the age of the king from contemporary sources, and modern historical consensus.

He was known as PaiÊ»ea, which means “hard-shelled crab”. His father by blood was Keōua. His mother was Chiefess KekuÊ»iapoiwa of the Kohala district on the island of Hawai

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