Posted in Hawaii & South Pacific

Peace and the End of the Comet

Using his relationships with the Kingdom of Beretania, Kamehameha gave lords and other titles to several British captains. They were given titles and lands in exchange for their ships, supplies, and support. (When I first arrived in Honolulu, it seemed that I could not travel anywhere without traveling or crossing the street, Beretania.)

Sandalwood, plentiful on the island, was in much demand in Europe and China. It was used in furniture and perfumes. Thus, Kamehameha eventually turned from military warrior to tradesman. Sandalwood was responsible for most of his worth.

Also plentiful were Hawaiian women’s favors in exchange for items commonly found on ships – clothing, mirrors, scissors, and nails. Since lovemaking was liberal on the Hawaiian Islands, the fact that profits could be made with it was just a bonus for the fathers of these Hawaiian beauties. Being savvy, Kamehameha levied a tax on the love-making trade for the ships’ captains. He also enacted the hugger-mugger rule. A cannon was fired at sunset to designate the beginning of the nighttime’s revelry. Another cannon was fired at sunrise to end the revelry.

In 1809, Archibald Campbell met King Kamehameha the Great and wrote about it in his book, A Voyage Around the World. “In 1809, the Great King seemed a man of 50 years. He is a stout, well-made man, darker in complexion than the other natives and is in want of his two front teeth. He is mild and affable in his manners and possesses a great warmth of feeling. Although a conqueror, he is loved by his subjects as he has supreme power and has brought prosperity and repose to them.”

During this time of peace, the king and his favorite bride, Kaahumanu, continued to surf the short, the high, the low, and the strenuous waves of Waikiki as if still in their youth. Kamehameha added more brides to his kingdom. Though not as bright as Kaahumanu, they were slimmer and beautiful, and they gave him sons, including King Kamehameha IV and V. He continued to give Hawaii children well into his 60s.When he died in 1819, at 69, he had just welcomed his last child, Ka-papa, daughter of Manono.

Taking on an illness that stayed with him for more than a month, Kamehameha called for his favorite wife, Kaahumanu , and son, Liholiho, to give them advice of being temperate with the haoles’ fire water, one glass no more, he was said to have counseled them. Liholiho had been designated as his successor, Kamehameha II.

It was common during this time for people to be sacrificed for the Chief. When news spread of Kamehameha’s illness, people began leaving the area quickly. However, Kamehameha said, no, there would be no sacrifices on his behalf. He had lived a long life and it was his time. As the Alii and family gathered around and worked out the necessary work of a monarch, they asked for final words. He stated: “I have given you the greatest good – peace. And a kingdom which is all one – a kingdom of all the islands. Pau.” (Pau is Hawaiian for that is all, finished.) On May 8, 1819, the comet passed.

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