King Kamehameha 1st

Kamehameha Day Parade in Kapa’au Hawaii.

The Kamehameha I statue was cast in 1880 and installed in 1883. Near the Falkland Islands the ship carrying the original statue was wrecked and thought lost. Before the second statue could be sent, the original was recovered by some Falkland Islanders. They sold it to the Captain of the wrecked ship for $500, and the Captain then sold it to Gibson for $875. Now Hawaii had two statues. The original stands near the legendary king’s birthplace in Kapaʻau in Kohala, on the island of Hawaiʻi. The re-ordered one stands in front of Aliʻiolani Hale.   Wikipedia

Late 19th century celebrations of Kamehameha Day featured carnivals and fairs, foot races, horse races and velosipide races. Kamehameha Day was one of the first holidays proclaimed by the Governor of Hawaii and the Hawaii State Legislature when Hawaiʻi achieved statehood in 1959.

Kamehameha Statue Kapaau

The statue had its origins in 1878 when Walter M. Gibson, a member of the Hawaiian government at the time, wanted to commemorate the 100-year arrival of Captain Cook to the Hawaiian Islands. The legislature appropriated $10,000 for the project and made Gibson the director of the project, which originally included native Hawaiians but they soon were off the project and Gibson ran the project by himself. Gibson contacted Thomas R. Gould, a Boston sculptor living abroad in Florence, Italy to create the statue.

Even though photographs of Polynesians had been sent to him so that Gould could make an appropriate likeness, he seemed to ignore them. A Roman nose and more European features were adopted. This is most likely due to the fact that Gould was in Italy studying Roman sculpture. The stance of a Roman general with gesturing hand, spear, and cape are also Roman appropriations. The belt or sash on the statue’s waist is a symbolic rendering of the Sacred Sash of Liloa. In 1880, the initial sculpture was sent to Paris, France, to be cast in bronze.

However, historians have noted that from the photographs that were sent to Gould, certain features of the statues were influenced by Hawaiian brothers John Timoteo Baker and Robert Hoapili Baker. Two photographs of the former survive, one in its original form and another in the form composite with the bare legs of a Hawaiian fisherman.

During this time, David Kalākaua became king and was completing ʻIolani Palace which was his tribute to King Kamehameha I and to be the destination of the statue. The statue was too late for the 100th anniversary, but in 1883, the statue was placed aboard a ship and headed for Hawaii. Near the Falkland Islands the ship wrecked and the statue was thought lost. However, the Hawaiians had insured the statue for $12,000 and a second casting was quickly made.

Falkland Islands the ship wrecked and the statue was thought lost. However, the Hawaiians had insured the statue for $12,000 and a second casting was quickly made.

The image of Hawaii’s fierce warrior king, Kamehameha I, is duplicated in statues and place names throughout the islands. But nowhere is Kamehameha, who in 1810 united the Island, more revered than in the neighboring Kohala hamlets of Hawi and Kapa’au. Here is the birthplace of the man who would become known as Kamehameha the Great. And here is located the more than century-old, original 9-foot statue in his likeness.  Kamehameha’s birthplace is west of Hawi near the ruins of Mookini Heiau, which dates back to 480 A.D. and is considered one of the island’s most important temple sites. The king’s birthplace, marked by a plaque, is on a dirt road about a mile past the heiau. To get there, take the turnoff to Upolu Airport, then turn left at the airfield. Be aware that the road is in poor condition.  The statue, which was restored in early 2001, stands on the grounds of the Kohala Information Center on the main road (Highway 270) in Kapa’au. Cast in Italy in 1879 and erected in the early 1880s, it is the original Kamehameha statue. There are four other bronzes, one on Oahu, one on Maui, one in Hilo and one in Washington, D.C.  The nine-ton Kapa’au statue was originally cast in bronze. It was repainted in 1883 after it was recovered from the sea. When it was restored again in 2001, residents voted to preserve the familiar bright yellow and red image and once again paint over the gilding. The statue, though striking, fails to portray authentic Polynesian features, leaning instead toward the classic look of Caucasian warriors.  The drive to Hawi and Kapa’au from the South Kohala resort area is a trip through the historic past of the island. Significant temple ruins as well as a reconstructed ancient village can be seen on the way to Kamehameha’s homeland. From the resort area, follow Highway 19 until it intersects with Highway 270, bear left and keep an eye open for another sign directing you to turn right to continue on 270 to Hawi and Kapa’au.

Kam Day

These are the remnants pf photographs I salvages from an old site of mine. The originals are missing, these reduced versions are what remains.

The Kingdom of Hawaiʻi originated in 1795 with the unification of the independent islands of Hawaiʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi under one government. In 1810 the whole Hawaiian archipelago became unified when Kauaʻi and Niʻihau joined the Kingdom of Hawai‘i voluntarily and without bloodshed or war. Two major dynastic families ruled the kingdom: the House of Kamehameha and the House of Kalākaua.

The Kingdom won recognition from major European powers. The United States became its chief trading partner. The Kingdom was watched jealously by the United States against the possibility of another power (such as Britain or Japan) threatening to seize control. Hawaii adopted a new constitution in 1887 to reduce the absolute power of King Kalākaua. Queen Liliʻuokalani, who succeeded Kalākaua in 1891, tried to restore the old order, but was overthrown in 1893, largely at the hands of United States citizens. Hawaii became a republic until the United States annexed it in 1898.

On January 20, 1887, the United States began leasing Pearl Harbor. Shortly afterwards, a group of mostly non-Hawaiians calling themselves the Hawaiian Patriotic League began the Rebellion of 1887. They drafted their own constitution on July 6, 1887. The new constitution was written by Lorrin Thurston, the Hawaiian Minister of the Interior who used the Hawaiian militia to threaten Kalākaua. Kalākaua was forced to dismiss his cabinet ministers and sign a new constitution that greatly lessened his power. It would become known as the “Bayonet Constitution” due to the force used.

The 1887 constitution replaced the previous absolute veto, allowed to the king, to one that two-thirds of the legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom could override.

It also took away the power of the king to act without the consent of his cabinet and gave the legislature, which was controlled by the white Americans by this time, the power to dismiss the cabinet instead of the king. It also removed language from the 1864 constitution implying that the king was above the law, replacing it with language that the king was required to obey his laws to the level of his subjects. The cabinet was now allowed to vote in the legislature, but to reduce the king’s influence, he was not allowed to appoint legislators to any other government post. The legislature also gained the authority to imprison those that disrespected, published false reports or comments about or threatened or assaulted any of its members.

The constitution also removed the monarch’s power to appoint members of the House of Nobles (the upper house of the legislature), instead making it a body elected by the wealthy landowners to six-year terms and enlarging it to 40 members. Qualifications to serve as a noble or representative now came to include high property and income requirements as well, which stripped almost all of the native population of the ability to serve in the legislature.

The 1887 constitution had also attempted to limit profligate spending, which had become a problem under Kalakaua’s reign, namely with the costly construction and maintenance of Iolani Palace. The constitution stipulated that the King was required to appoint a Minister of Finance to oversee government spending and submit an annual budget proposal to the legislature.

The 1887 constitution made significant changes to voting requirements. It allowed foreign resident aliens to vote, not just naturalized citizens. Asians, including subjects who previously enjoyed the right to vote, were specifically denied suffrage. Hawaiian, American, and European males were granted full voting rights only if they met the economic and literacy thresholds.

The 1864 constitution required that voters generate annual income of at least US$75 (equivalent to US$1174 in 2018) or own private property worth at least US$150 (equivalent to $2347 in 2018). The wealth requirements were removed during the short reign of Lunalilo in 1874. That change extended voter eligibility to many more Hawaiians and was kept for the lower house.

However, the 1887 constitution required an income of $600 (equivalent to US$16342 in 2018) or taxable property of US$3000 (equivalent to $81711 in 2018) to vote for the upper house (or serve in it). That excluded an estimated two thirds of the Hawaiian population. Essentially, only white males, wealthy from the sugar industry, retained suffrage with the Bayonet Constitution.

Allocating the government’s power to the Cabinet and then promptly appointing their members to the Cabinet, and securing the disenfranchisement of their opposition, the Hawaiian League seized complete control over the Kingdom of Hawaii.

The Bayonet Constitution was the first great implement in the decline of the monarchy. Though it did not depose the King, it did place considerable limitations on his power.

Lorrin Thurston (Judas), Minister of the Interior (Hawaii)

Although Kalākaua’s signature alone had no legal power, The Bayonet Constitution allowed the monarch to appoint cabinet ministers, but stripped him of the power to dismiss them without approval from the Legislature. Eligibility to vote for the was altered, requiring that both candidates and voters own property valued three thousand dollars or more, or have an annual income of six hundred dollars or more. This disenfranchised two thirds of native Hawaiians and other ethnic groups who had previously been eligible to vote. This constitution benefited the foreign plantation owners. With the legislature now responsible for naturalizing aliens, Americans and Europeans could retain their home country citizenship and vote as citizens of the kingdom. Along with voting privileges, Americans could hold office and still retain their American citizenship, something not afforded in any other nation and even allowed Americans to vote without becoming naturalized. Asian immigrants were no longer able to acquire citizenship or vote. From WikiPedia

Kapa’au Kamehameha Day