Death Rites and Hawaiian Royalty

Funerary Practices in the Kamehameha and Kalākaua Dynasties, 1819–1953

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About the Book

The bones of Hawaii’s King Kamehameha the Great were hidden at night in a secret location. In contrast, his successor Kamehameha III had a half-mile-long funeral procession to the Royal Tomb watched by thousands. Drawing on missionary journals, government publications and Hawaiian and English language newspapers, this book describes changes in funerary practices for Hawaiian royalty and details the observance of each royal death beginning with that of Kamehameha in 1819.
Funeral observances of Western royalty provided an extravagant model for their Hawaiian counterparts yet many indigenous practices endured. Mourners no longer knocked out their teeth or tattooed their tongues but mass wailing, feather standards and funeral dirges continued well into the 20th century. Dozens of historic drawings and photographs provide rare glimpses of the obsequies of the Kamehameha and Kalākaua dynasties. Descriptions of the burial sites provide locations of the final resting places of Hawaii’s royalty.

About the Author(s)

Ralph Thomas Kam holds a doctorate in American studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with an emphasis on Asian and Pacific American studies. Author of several articles in the Hawaiian Journal of History, he lives in Kaneohe, Hawaii.

Bibliographic Details

Ralph Thomas Kam
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 73 photos, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6846-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2861-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 3
Death of Kamehameha the Great 7
Death of Likelike and Traditional Hawaii Mourning Practices 8
An Early Model 9
Lying in State 13
Funerals 13
Processions 14
Royal Deaths After the Overthrow 14
1. Royal Deaths 17
Royal Deaths During the Kamehameha Dynasty 17
Kamehameha the Great (1819) 17; Kauwai (1823) 18; Keōpūolani (1823) 21; George Cox Ke‘eaumoku (1824) 25; Kaumuali‘i (1824) 28; Kamehameha II and Kamāmalu (1824) 31; Kalanimoku (1827) 36; Nāmāhana (1829) 36; Kamanele (1831) 38; Keaweawe‘ulaokalani I (1832) 38; Queen Ka‘ahumanu, Kuhina Nui (1832) 38; David Kamehameha (1835) 40; John Young (1835) 41; Nāhi‘ena‘ena (1837) 41; Kīna‘u (1839) 44; Kuini Liliha (1839) 46; Hoapili (1840) 47; Chiefess Kapi‘olani (1841) 47; Keaweawe‘ulaokalani II (1842) 48; Hoapili Wahine (1842) 48; Ha‘alilio (1845) 48; Kekāuluohi (1845) 50; William Pitt Leleiohoku, Ka‘imina‘auao and Moses Kekuaiwa (1848) 51; Keali‘iahonui (1849) 53; Ka‘ōana‘eha (1850) 55; Kekau‘ōnohi (1851) 55; James Young Kanehoa (1851) 56; James Kaliokalani (1852) and Polly Pa‘a‘āina (1853) 57; Kamehameha III (1854) 58; Abner Pākī (1855) 63; Kōnia (1857) 64; Keoni Ana (1857) 65; Joshua Kaeo (1858) 66; Thomas Charles Byde Rooke (1858) 66; John William Pitt Kīna‘u (1859) 68; Bennet Nāmākēhā (1860) 69; Abigail Maheha (1861) 70; Jane Lahilahi Young (1862) 72; Prince of Hawai‘i (1862) 72; Keolaokalani Pākī Bishop (1863) 74; King Kamehameha IV (1863) 74; Robert Crichton Wyllie (1865) 79; Princess Victoria Kamāmalu (1866) 80; Grace Kama‘iku‘i (1866) 82; Kaisara (Caesar) Kapa‘akea (1866) 83; Mataio Kekūanāo‘a, Kuhina Nui (1868) 85; High Chiefess Keohokā­lole (1869) 87; Queen Kalama (1870) 88; Kamehameha V (1872) 92; Jane Loeau (1873) 94; King William Charles Lunalilo (1874) 95
Royal Deaths During the Kalākaua Dynasty 98 Charles Kana‘ina (1877) 99; William Pitt Leleiohoku Kalahoolewa (1877) 100; Fanny Kekelaokalani Young (1880) 103; Peter Young Kaeo (1880) 104; Ruth Keanolani Kana­hoa­hoa Ke‘elikōlani (1883) 106; Princess Victoria Kūhiō Kinoiki Kekaulike (1884) 111; Bernice Pauahi Bishop (1884) 112; Queen Emma (1885) 115; Princess Miriam Likelike (1887) 121; Prince Edward Abel Keliiahonui (1887) 126; King
David Kalākaua (1891) 127; John Owen Dominis (1891) 136
Royal Deaths During the Provisional Government and the Republic of Hawaii 138 Virginia Kapooloku Po‘omaikelani (1895) 138; Ka‘iulani (1899) 139; Queen Kapi‘olani (1899) 143
Royal Deaths During the Territory of Hawaii 146 Albert Kūnuiākea (1903) 147; Robert W. Wilcox (1903) 150; Mary Kūnuiākea (1904) 152; David Kawānanakoa (1908) 152; Archibald Scott Cleghorn (1910) 156; Charles Reed Bishop (1915) 157; Lili‘uokalani (1917) 158; Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole (1922) 166; Elizabeth Keka‘aniau (1928) 170; Elizabeth Kahanu (1932) 171; Abigail Wahi‘ika‘ahu‘ula Campbell (1945) 172; David Kalākaua Kawānanakoa (1953) 175
2. Burial Places 177
Fort Tomb 180
Tomb near Halekamani 180
Moku‘ula Tomb 180
Royal Tomb at Pohukaina, Honolulu (1825) 181
Mauna ‘Ala, Royal Mausoleum at Kawānanakoa, Nu‘uanu, Honolulu 184 John Young Tomb 187; Kamehameha Tomb (1887) 187;
Wyllie Tomb (1904) 190; Kalakaua Crypt (1910) 192; Kawānakoa Tomb at Mauna ‘Ala 198; Lunalilo Mausoleum (1875) 205
3. Undertakers 209
Conclusion 215
Glossary 217
Chapter Notes 219
Bibliography 235
Index 237