Posted in Hawaii & South Pacific

Kamehameha the Great and Alii kisses

In 1785, Kamehameha the Great married his favorite wife, daughter of Keeaumoku, Kaahumanu stood 6-foot tall and was 17 years old. They were married at Kawaihae among wedding games of surfing, swimming, ti-leaf slide, hula dancing, and the Alii kissing game. In the culture of the day, women did not eat in the presence of the men, as that was considered kapu. Also, they did not eat pork, coconut, or bananas, which were considered masculine delights.

Eventually, Kamehameha and Kaahumanu slipped away to their fragrant bed of sandalwood leaves, covered with a spotless blanket of white and red tapa. Following, they went to Kamehameha’s northern farm in Kohala, where taro and sweet potatoes were grown, and where Kamehameha started making plans for other battles.

Seven years after Captain Cook’s original travels to the Hawaiian Islands, other European ships arrived. All had cannons and flint rock rifles, Kamehameha was pleased. Within the seven years since Captain Cook’s time in Hawaii, the Hawaiians no longer saw the white man as gods, but only haoles, white mortals. Thus the trading began, pork and stout for iron. The cost was 2 gallons of drinking water for one 6-penny nail. (I wonder what these people would think about our current payment of $1 for 16 ounces of water today.) Within two years, and with the help of his wife’s lover, Kaina, Kamehameha had his first cannon and several muskets, which the British called Brown Betties. What followed were years of fighting in the islands that are documented in many places. Here is one blog that may interest you:

 Cite: The Warrior King: Hawaii’s Kamehameha, the Great by Richard Tregaskis