By 15, Kamehameha’s father had died, and Kamehameha had met his first love, Kane-kapo-lei, one of his uncle’s wives. She was 29, and gave birth to Kamehameha’s first son, Pali (as in the famous Pali Highway and Pali lookout). He was a healthy child so he was accepted by the uncle and the child’s mother as their own child, a common culture in the Polynesian communities of the time. Children with handicaps or other problems were considered bad fortune and were disposed of. Healthy children were considered good fortune and were kept by the family.
During the same time period, Kamehameha used all his ‘military war games’ experience with his first battle, the battle for Maui. It was in this, his first battle, that he received the nickname, Paiea, which means ‘hard-shelled crab.’ It was also during this battle period that a tall, white-haired, kahuna (wise man) named Holoae stated, “I predict that the waters of Ioa stream will run red with the blood of our enemies.” Seventeen years later, that prophecy came true in battles that would determine long-term Hawaiian royalty.
As word of the Maui battle reached Oahu, another kahuna stated another prophecy. Over burning kukui flames, he told of the greatest Hawaiian king who would usher in the golden age of peace throughout the islands after bringing fires and wars through Maui, Oahu, Lani, and Molokai. When asked who this king would be, he said, “Paiea, old hard-shelled crab, who has just finished his first battle in Maui”; thus the legacy of Kamehameha the Great had begun.
Details of the Maui battle can be found in the book cited below and, quicker details here: http://alohavalley.com/battle-of-kepaniwai/
Cite: The Warrior King: Hawaii’s Kamehameha, the Great by Richard Tregaskis