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Pauahi - the Kamehameha Legacy

By Kamehameha Schools Press

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Book Id: WPLBN0002096972
Format Type: Default
File Size: 2 MB
Reproduction Date: 6/24/2011

Title: Pauahi - the Kamehameha Legacy  
Author: Kamehameha Schools Press
Language: Hawaiian
Subject: Non Fiction, Auxiliary Sciences of History, Hawaiian History
Collection: Authors Community
Subcollection: Education
Publication Date:
Publisher: Kamehameha Schools Press
Member Page: Hale Kuamoʻo Hawaiian Language Center

Two centuries ago, when Hawaiian prophets were still honored for their insights, Kapihe was one of the most gifted. A kahuna or priest in the court of Kamehameha I and a descendant of the famed Napua line, he had prophesied the downfall of the kapu, the ancient religious system and the 1819 Battle of Kuamo?o which decided the course of modern Hawaiian history. One of Kapihe's last great prophecies may have been the one recorded in the Journal of the missionary William Ellis. Although Ellis branded him a "false prophet," he still thought enough of his calling to preserve for posterity the following prophecy: "Kapihe... informed Tamehameha that when he should die, Kuahiro would take his spirit to the sky, and accompany it to the earth again, when his body would be reanimated and youthful; that he would have his wives, and resume his government in Hawai?i; and that, at the same time, the existing generation would see and know their parents and ancestors, and all the people who had died would be restored to life."1 What did Kapihe mean? Was he referring to the literal resurrection of Kamehameha and his future return to earth, as some have suggested? If so, this meant that he had digested Christian eschatological dogma and grafted it on to his own traditional beliefs. While this kind of intellectual synthesis is not beyond the realm of possibility, it forms the basis of only one interpretation. There is another view, perhaps more credible because it is more compatible with Kapihe's Hawaiian antecedents. That view is that Kapihe was referring not to any bodily resurrection of Kamehameha along with the maka?ainana, much too egalitarian a notion for Hawaiians of the time. Rather, he was referring to Kamehameha's symbolic return in the "reanimated" form of Hawkapu regulating gambling, drinking, dancing, and the Sabbath with such severity that many Hawaiians felt oppressed, if not disillusioned. The non-missionary foreign residents were appalled and threatened retribution of their own. Economically, the chiefs were awash in the sea of debt caused by the collapse of the sandalwood trade which had ruined the fortunes of many of the maka?ainana (commoners). Haole (white) merchants like James Hunnewell and Henry Peirce were already laying down the foundations of economic control of the Kingdom.1 And like the years before and after, 1831 saw hundreds of Hawaiians dying from strange diseases like syphilis and smallpox. In some places, as the writer Kamakau would say, the ground had already become "white with the bones of the dead."2 No wonder that Kathleen Mellen was moved to write: "As the tumultous year of 1831 drew to a close it found the Hawaiians sunk in spiritual gloom ... Despair had come to the Hawaiians as a sickness comes, moving slowly through the veiaiian youth who would by some instrumentality carry and perpetuate his name and honor through their words and deeds.

To Hawaiians of the time 1831 was not an auspicious year. Civil war was narrowly averted that year when Liliha, the popular widow of Boki, the tragic entrepreneur-chief, was dissuaded from launching an armed revolt against the Regent Kaahumanu. Now a fervent convert to Christianity, Kaahumanu imposed new ns and over the spirit. A miasmal melancholy hung listlessly over the land."

Table of Contents
Acknowledgments . vii -- Prologue . ix -- Genealogical Table . xi -- 1 Hawaiian Roots . 1 -- 2 At the Chiefs' Children's School . 21 -- 3 From Courtship to Marriage . 55 -- 4 Life at Haleakala . 79 -- 5 A Captive of the Politics of Fate . 107 -- 6 Revelations of an Odyssey . 127 -- 7 The Seeds and the Corpus . 149 -- 8 Hele La O Kaiona . 167 -- Notes . 195 -- Appendix . 205 -- Bibliography . 211 -- Index . 217 --


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