Kaʻahumanu - Words & music by Alice Namakelua 

He nani ʻo Hana i kaʻu ʻike
ʻĀina ʻoluʻolu uluwehiwehi

ʻĀina piha ʻoe i ke aloha
A he wahi poina ʻole ʻia naʻu

Ke ku mau no a Kaʻuiki
A he puʻu kaulana no ka ʻāina

He aloha Kaʻuiki a e ku nei
Ke one hānau o Kaʻahumanu

Haʻina ka inoa a i lohe ʻia
ʻO Kaʻahumanu no e ō mai



Beautiful is Hana in my sight
Land cool and lush

You are a land filled with love
A place I`ll never forget

There stands Kaʻuiki
A famous hill of the land

Beloved is Kaʻuiki that stands there
The birthplace of Kaʻahumanu

Tell the name and let it be heard
O Kaʻahumanu, do answer

Source: Hula Record Album: Auntie Alice Kuʻuleialohapoinaʻole Nāmakelua - The composer was inspired to write this mele September 14, 1973, to commemorate a visit to Hana, birthplace of Kaʻahumanu, the favorite wife of Kamehameha I. Kaʻahumanu, the high-spirited, strong-willed and proud daughter of Keʻeaumoku and Namahana was born about 1768-73. The infant, Kaʻahumanu was taken to Heiau Kaniomoku at Hana, after her birth in the cave at Puʻu Kaʻuiki. Her father Keʻeaumoku was at that time, the defender of the paʻa kauʻa (fortress) of Kaʻuiki. Described as a kind-hearted and obedient child, the young athletic chiefess startled Kamehameha I with her beauty when he saw her at the Makahiki games. Determined to make her his wife, she consented only after he agreed to name any of their children, as his primary heirs. In 1785, between the of age 13-18, she married Kamehameha I, in a simple ceremony. He had 2 other wives before he married Kaʻahumanu, but she was his favorite. Unfortunately, there was no issue from this marriage, but Kaʻahumanu raised Liholiho (Kamehameha II), the son of her husband and Keopuolani, the sacred and most high-ranking wife of Kamehameha I. George Vancouver, the explorer and a dear friend of Kamehameha admired the affection between the couple and described Kaʻahumanu, as one of the finest women he had ever known. The death of Kamehameha I in 1819, placed young Kalaninui Liholiho on the throne as Kamehameha II, with Kaʻahumanu as the Kuhina Nui. She was a good prime minister, diligent in her duties and loved the power. In this capacity, she started the systematic destruction of the Hawaiian religion with Keopuolani, the sacred Queen. First, they broke the eating kapu for women, then ordered the dismantling of heiaus and burning of the ancient gods. The battle of Kuamoʻo, the last concerted effort to save the Hawaiian religion, ended in defeat. The arrival of the Christian missionaries in 1820, filled the religious void of the Hawaiians. Kaʻahumanu advised the king to allow them to stay and teach. Intelligient and curious, the chiefess visited the missionaries often, eager to learn about life beyond her native land. When she became ill in 1821, the missionaries, Mr. and Mrs. Bingham visited her every day and forged a friendship that stirred Kaʻahumanu’s interest in Christianity. They taught her to read and write and she became an advocate of education for the people. Upon the death of Liholiho, his brother Kauikeaouli was declared king in 1825, at age 11. Kaʻahumanu was installed as kuhina nui/prime minister and ruled as regent until her death. Returning from a tour of the windward islands, Kaʻahumanu became ill. Servants carried the regent to her cottage in Mānoa Valley, pausing at the fresh water spring at Punahou for refreshment, before continuing the 3 miles to her home. During her illness, translation of the New Testament was completed and Mr. Bingham presented her with the first copy bound in red leather with her name engraved in gold letters on the cover. She kept it with her until her death of intestinal illness, June 5, 1832.