Yesterday was Kamehameha Day, celebrating Kamehameha 1, the king who first united the Hawaiian Islands under one leader. There’s a statue of the king at Kapaau in North Kohala, and this was the scene of a ceremony honoring him.
The ceremony began in steady rain, but the weather brightened so that proceedings ended in bright sunshine. After opening blessings, various groups approached the statue and paid their respects to the king. This was followed by the draping of leis on the statue. Finally, a hula performance in front of the statue concluded events – at least as far as this ceremony was concerned. An hour or so later, there was a parade featuring representatives of all the Hawaiian islands, and for the rest of the day, there were events and music in a local park.
The top photo shows a lei being draped over the king’s spear. The lei is made up of plumeria blossoms. The leis draped over his extended arm are mostly made up of ti leaves. Below that, members of one of the groups honoring the king performed a hula in front of the statue. Next, I think this is the order of Kamehameha presenting an offering which was carried up and placed at the base of the statue. Below left, a red plumeria lei is hoisted over the king’s spear. Below right, after all the lei were placed on the statue, another hula performance concluded events.
For more information about the Kamehameha Day and the statue, go to kamehamehadaycelebration.org.
For more information about the Kamehameha’s history, go to nps.gov/puhe/learn/historyculture/kamehameha.htm.