Tag Archives: King Kamehameha

Kamehameha Day

The statue of King Kamehameha is draped with leis as part of the proceedings.
A rider in the parade as it passes through Hawi.

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Summer Traditions.’ See more responses here.

Some summer traditions, such as barbecues and going to the beach are year-round here, but Kamehameha Day is an event that kicks off summer, occurring as it does in mid-June. There’s a ceremony at the king’s statue in Kapaau, a parade through the community, and festivities at the local park. Many places mark the king’s birthday with similar events, but some take place on the Saturday nearest his birth date. In North Kohala, the king’s birthplace, the celebration is always on the actual date regardless of which day it falls on.

This year though, the celebration was one of a multitude of events cancelled because of the Covid-19 virus. These photos are from previous years’ events.

Hula dancers dance in front of the statue during the opening ceremonies.

Shadow makers

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Shadows.’ See more offerings here.

The top photo is a row of colorful playground swings at Kamehameha Park in Kapaau. Below are three cyclists in line, heading out of Hawi during an Ironman World Championship race.

Also posted as a second offering for this week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme of ‘All in a Row.’ (See more responses here.) My first post for this theme is here.

King Kamehameha statue

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Old.’ See more offerings here.

This is the original statue of Kamehameha 1, the king who first united the Hawaiian Islands. The statue was commissioned in 1878, but was lost off the Falkland Islands. A new statue was made, but in the meantime, the original one was salvaged. The new statue was put up in Honolulu and the original shipped to Kapaau.

Not long after I took this photo, the trees in the background were badly damaged during a windstorm and had to be cut down, so this scene looks quite different today.

Find more information about the statue here. For more information about King Kamehameha’s history, go to nps.gov/puhe/learn/historyculture/kamehameha.htm.

North Kohala libraries

The new public library in North Kohala, Hawaii

Today’s post is in response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge on the theme of ‘For the Love of Reading & Books.’ See more offerings here.

The top photo shows North Kohala’s relatively new public library, which opened in 2010. The library features wind and photovoltaic energy systems as well as a rainwater catchment system. These features helped it gain LEED Gold Certification, the first state building in Hawaii to do so.

The photo below shows the Bond Memorial Library, which served the area from 1929 until the new library’s opening. This building was much smaller – 1,610 sq.-ft. as opposed to 6,000 sq.-ft. for the new building.

When the library moved from the old building to the new, more than 1,000 volunteers lined the road to move the books by hand over the mile plus distance. This echoed the story of King Kamehameha the Great who organized a human chain 20 miles long to carry rocks from Pololu Valley to build Pu’ukohola Heiau near Kawaihae, though I don’t think King Kamehameha’s rock carriers were volunteers.

Back in 2014, there were plans to convert the old Bond Memorial Library to a cultural/historical museum for the area, but nothing has happened yet and the old building still sits there, unused as far as I can tell.

The old Bond Memorial Library in Kapaau, Hawaii.

Signs: Mo’okini Heiau

Signs-Mo'okini Heiau

Mo’okini Heiau is located just off one of my regular walks. The old signs for the heiau and the Kamehameha birth site fell from their original spot, tacked on a fence, some years ago. Since then, the signs have been wedged into a barbed wire fence, from which they regularly fell into the grass.

When I noticed this, I’d root the signs out and wedge them back in the fence. I believe other people also did this. At some point, one of the signs split in two, so there were three pieces to try and arrange in some way that they wouldn’t immediately fall down again.

I kept thinking I should bring some wire and a drill and try and put the signs back together again, maybe attach them to a fence post, but I only remembered this good intention when I was picking the signs out of the grass.

The grounds of the heiau are maintained by staff presumably contracted by the county or state. However, the area in the vicinity of the signs never got much attention except when, a couple of years ago, a sign prohibiting animals (on the left of the photo) suddenly appeared. I have a fondness for that sign because the chance of anyone enforcing that regulation is right up there with me winning three different lotteries on the same day (and Hawaii doesn’t have lotteries).

So imagine my surprise the other day when I reached this point in my walk and saw this spiffy new sign. Two new boards attached to a brightly painted pole securely set in a rock. I was giddy with shock and excitement (yes, I don’t get out much). If an alien spaceship had landed I wouldn’t have been more surprised. Note too the red and yellow paint on the chain across the trail to the heiau, and the well-supported post that fell down about a year ago.

Folks, forget the volcano. You want to see something truly amazing on the Big Island, come up to North Kohala and check out these signs while they’re still standing.

King Kamehameha statues

King Kamehameha statue KapaauKing Kamehameha statue Honolulu

These two photos are of statues of King Kamehameha I, the king who first united the Hawaiian Islands under one leader. On top, draped in leis from last Monday’s Kamehameha Day celebrations, is the statue at Kapaau, here on the Big Island. Below is the statue in Honolulu. It sits in front of the Aliʻiōlani Hale, which housed the government of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and the Republic of Hawaiʻi, and is currently home to the Hawaiʻi State Supreme Court.

Back in 1878, a statue of the King was commissioned for display in Honolulu. The commission was given to American artist Thomas Ridgeway Gould, and in 1880 his plaster model was sent to Paris to be cast, before being shipped to Hawaii. Alas, it never made it. The ship transporting the statue caught fire and sank off of the Falkland Islands.

Fortunately, the statue was insured, so a replacement was ordered. While this process was underway, the original statue turned up! Salvaged by fishermen, it was sold to a British ship captain who recognized it. He, in turn, sold it to the Hawaiian government, which now found itself in possession of identical twin statues. But the statues weren’t identical. The replacement statue was pristine and resplendent with gold detailing. The original was missing a hand and had a broken spear, and had suffered a good deal of fire damage.

The government decided to erect the replacement statue in Honolulu and the original was restored and sent to Kapaau, near Kamehameha’s birthplace. However, the original was corroded from its time in the sea so, in the early 1900s, local residents began to paint the statue, both to prevent further corrosion and to make it more lifelike.

By the end of the century, the statue was in bad shape and in 1996 conservator Glenn Wharton was hired to assess its condition. In his book, The Painted King: Art, Activism, and Authenticity in Hawaii, he recalls being startled by what he found, ‘A larger-than-life brass figure painted over in brown, black, and yellow with “white toenails and fingernails and penetrating black eyes with small white brush strokes for highlights. . . . It looked more like a piece of folk art than a nineteenth-century heroic monument.”’

For the next few years Wharton led a community discussion about how to save the statue, including the tricky question of whether it should be restored to its original bronze and gold finish or continue the painted alternative the community had grown up with. In the end the community voted to keep the painted finish and in 2001 the statue was restored in this way and rededicated.

A third statue of King Kamehameha I was commissioned after statehood in 1959, for installation in the U.S. Statuary Hall in Washington DC. However, this statue wasn’t cast from the original molds, but from molds taken of the Honolulu statue.

Posted in response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge on the theme of ‘Twin.’ See more responses here.

Royal Hawaiian Band

The Royal Hawaiian Band was founded in 1836 by King Kamehameha III. The band presents free concerts in the grounds of ‘Iolani Palace most Fridays from noon to 1 p.m. and at the Kapi‘olani Park Bandstand in Waikiki most Sundays at 2 p.m..

I hope the photos convey something of what an enjoyable experience the band’s concert offered.

For more information about the Royal Hawaiian Band, go to rhb-music.com.

Posted in response to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge to be a visual storyteller.

This channel connects Kiholo fish pond and the ocean

Kiholo fish pond channel

This channel connects Kiholo fish pond and the ocean

About ¾ of a mile east of the parking area at Kiholo State Park Reserve is this channel or ‘auwai. It connects what remains of Kiholo fish pond with the ocean. King Kamehameha 1 is credited with building the fish pond though he may have actually improved one that was already there. In his day, the pond was much larger than it is today, a lava flow from one of Mauna Loa’s periodic eruptions having filled in a good deal of it.

Turtles and, of course, fish go back and forth through this channel, which also flushes brackish water from the pond. While the pond is on private land, it’s always fun to pause on the little bridge and scan the channel to see if anything is on the move.

For more information about Kiholo fish pond, go to www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/hawaii/placesweprotect/kiholo-preserve.xml.