Sunday, June 11, 2017

What was so Great about Kamehameha I?

Aside from being a supreme athlete, a master of martial arts, and a merman, Kamehameha fulfilled a centuries-old prophecy. On the night he was born, a fiery rooster tail streaked across the heavens marking the birth of the warrior destined to unite the Hawaiian Islands where persistent tribal wars marred a peaceful existence. No conversation about sacred sites in Hawai’i is complete without explaining why this warrior/chief was so great.
Kamehameha’s birthplace, Akahi aina Hanou, (near Mo’okini Heiau) is on a lonely knoll overlooking the sea in Kohala. It is thought that Halley’s Comet passed by the night of Kamehameha’s birth in 1758 marking him the chosen leader. Priests advised the ruling chief to destroy the child who threatened his seat of power. His mother, fearing for her son’s life, had him spirited away to Waipio Valley where he lived in gentle isolation for the first five years of his life. Tutored by a loving mentor, he learned the genealogical chants of his ancestors and began his life journey as the “Lonely One.”

At pubescence he returned to the village of his mother and was accepted by the now aged chief. He excelled in all sports, dance, and martial arts, proving himself to be an outstanding warrior. The old chief prided in Kamehameha and when he died he appointed him the Keeper of Ku—the war god.

Prophecy held that the warrior able to lift the 7,000-pound Naha Stone would become the chief whose cloud would rest over all the Islands. Kamehameha “lifted” the Naha Stone when he was 16 years old. (The Naha Stone is located in front of the Hilo Library, 300 Waianuenue Avenue.) This was the second omen to re-enforce his hard path.
It was Kamehameha’s unshakable belief in his destiny to be the ruler to unite the Hawaiian Islands that pulled him forward. You cannot understand Hawai’i or the significance of the sacred sites scattered throughout the realm without knowledge of this great leader who—through the force of his will, the strength of his intellect and unequaled physical prowess—brought a “Golden Age” to his people.

In a series of posts and videos about sacred sites in the Hawaiian Islands I expand upon the various temples he had built and the strategic battles that were fought during his rise to power. His words to his people when he passed to the other side in 1819: “Know the great good I have given to you.”

The character Makaha in my historical novel Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawai'i is inspired by this brave warrior.

Adventure-travel writer, Linda Ballou, shares Great Outdoor days in L.A, as well as a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, her historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and her latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon  

Her quest today is to get to as many beautiful places as she can before they are gone. Subscribe to her blog and receive updates on her books, and travel destinations.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a truly fascinating man, Linda. Love the photos!