The most respected and remembered ruler and native chief in Hawaii is definitely Kamehameha I
, also known as Kamehameha The Great
One of the earliest rulers and also the first to unite all the warring tribes and islands of Hawaii into one kingdom, the king has indeed made what seemed impossible happen.
The Kingdom of Hawai'i
, was then established in 1810, following the powerful chieftain's conquest of the all the other islands.
Back then there were various native tribes existing on the small islands around the Big Island (these islands made up Hawaii today); on which the chief himself was born. The tribes were all governed by their own chiefs who set their own laws and taboos; or Ka'pu
, as it was referred to in their native language.
There were not much communication between the tribes; let alone alliances for each focused on the interests of their own tribe. The unspoken rule was to stay within one's tribe and not provoke that of others; drawing the boundaries clear as each tribe marks its own territory.
However, when the question of power and wealth comes into the picture, there are tribes which grew significantly and struggling to survive, there was then a need for more resources to expand their community and thus, some tribes even take it to conquer other tribes to establish their own influence.
It was not definitely unpleasant as suspicions grew among the different tribes and harmony has seemingly diminished in the midst of power and political struggle, and Kamehameha of Big Island, seeking the help and alliance of the British and American whom he dealt with in weapons, set forth to conquer the islands of Hawaii.
His success set the path of the Kingdom of Hawai'i and his might and splendor remains talked about until this day. Statues were made in the image of the powerful ruler; and there were a few of them, all created by famous sculptor T.R. Gould, in Paris, France
There was one statue which originally stands here, but was lost at the sea; however, was later salvaged and now placed in Big Island; the birthplace of Kamehameha the Great.
The statue stands there in all its might in downtown Honolulu for visitors to admire and the local Hawaiians to remember the great ruler for his works.
Kamehameha I was best remembered for the Kanawai Mamalahoe
(translated as Law of the Splintered Paddle)
; a constitution which protects the rights of those who were not directly involved in war but were participating in areas such as medicine, service, wounded and also the sick.
The great King was himself a subject of many mythical and mystical stories relating to his origin where he was an object of prophecy and was seen to be born with great powers and also the one to unite the islands, even before he was born. In fact, it was said that his birth would be signified or proclaimed with the appearance of a comet; signifying his great and divine powers. As it so happens, the Halley's Comet was said to have appeared at about the same time when the great king was born.
His birthplace was on the Big Island of Hawaii, where the original statue erected in his honor now stands after being salvaged from the shipwreck where it was reported to have been almost lost.
Every year on June 11, in conjunction with the ruler's birthday, there would be grand celebrations on the street and the statue would be decked with the traditional Lei
while processions take place on the road, showing the great deal of respect the Hawaiians have for their wonderful chief.
It is almost impossible to miss this statue if you are in downtown Honolulu, as it is located quite near to the Iolani Palace.
For the great name of the majestic ruler, and his glorious past, do stop by and pay respects to this chief; who made Hawaii today exist.
It would be interesting to note the full and actual Hawaiian name of Kamehameha I;
Kalani Paiʻea Wohi o Kaleikini Kealiʻikui Kamehameha o ʻIolani i Kaiwikapu kaui Ka Liholiho Kūnuiākea
Read more about the great King here