After Kamehameha's passing in 1819, his wife the dowager queen Ka'ahumanu, declared herself the first Kuhina Nui (Queen Regent). Concurrent with the 'ai noa (free eating), and the end of Kapu, Ka'ahumanu and Liholiho ordered Heiau (temples) and carved idols destroyed. In April 1820, the first New England Calvinist missionaries arrived. Even more ironically, their first landfall in Kamakahonu - the same location where Kamehameha had died and the Kapu system was ended. The events were omen for the deeply spiritual Hawaiians - perhaps augmenting Christian conversion.

In 1822, the Queen and new King recieved an elaborate gift from King George IV of England. Liholiho with Ka'ahumanu left to negotiate a mutual defense treaty with Britain in 1823. There, in London, Liholiho and Ka'ahumanu died of measles.

Ka'uikeaouli (Kamehameha III) was only 10 years old when Liholiho (Kamehameha II) died. Kamehameha III had an infamous reign. Since he was young and with 'silver spoon', he was known for not closely attending court needs. (Ka'ahumanu II) was able to control much of his behavior. By using Kinau, the missionaries maintained political power and proceeded to gain Hawaiian converts by the thousands. By Kinau's death in 1839, Kamehameha III and many Hawaiians were quitely run 'behind the scenes' by missionaries and merchant friends. The King divided Hawaiian lands into three parts - 1/3 to the King, 1/3 to the government and 1/3 to the commoners. This land division and its law became known as the Mahele. Unfortunately, after the Mahele, foreigners eagerly purchased government land. In spreading the

In spreading the Gospel, the second and third generation of missionary families were even more active in land speculation - so much so that by 1886 about two-thirds of all government lands sold, had been brought by resident Haole.
"The missionaries taught us how to pray, when we looked up, the land was gone."

The Big Island's high-chiefess Kapi'olani, became so avid a Christian that in 1824 she deliberately, defiantly, denounced the fire goddess Pele - on her home grounds. In 1974, a group of about 250 people made up mostly of Hawaiian Christians, visited the Kilauea Volcano to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Kapi'olani's defiance. Within 12 hours an eruption occurred at the very place where the group had staged their ceremony - causing many raised eyebrows in the Hawaiian community.


Ancient Culture


A Kingdom