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Kaikilani: Wikis


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Kaikilani, 1550 - 1605 was the 17th Alii Aimoku of Hawaii 1575 - 1605. She ruled as the sovereign Queen or Chieftess of the island of Hawaii. She was also known as Ka'ikilani'ali'iwahine'opuna. She shared power with her two husband but she was the Alii Aimoku not them.



She was born the daughter of Alii Kukailani son of Keali'iokaloa, by his wife and half-sister, Alii Kaohuki-o-kalani, daughter of Keali'iokaloa, 15th Alii Aimoku of Hawaii. She married Alii Kanaloakuaana, son of her uncle, Keawe-nui-a-'Umi, 16th Alii Aimoku of Hawaii, by his fifth wife, Alii Koi-halau-wai-lana, daughter of Kahakumakalina, 14th Alii Aimoku of Kauai. She also married Alii Lonoikamakahiki, joint Alii Aimoku of Hawaii, also son of her uncle, Keawe-nui-a-'Umi, 16th Alii Aimoku of Hawaii, by his second wife, Ha-o-kalani Kane-alae. Sometime claims state that Kaikilani had Castilian blood running in her vien deriving from a 16th century shipwrecked Spanish captain and his daughter.

Her husbands

When Keawenui was on his deathbed, he solemnly, and in the presence of his chiefs, conferred the sovereignty, the dignity, and prerogatives of Moi on Kaikilani, the daughter of Kukailani, and who was the joint-wife or successive wife of his two sons, Kanaloakuaana and Lonoikamakahiki. This Kaikilani, whose full name was Kaikilani-nui-alii-wahine-o-Puna, must not be mistaken, as several later genealogists have done, for another wife of Lonoikamakahiki called Kaililanimai-pano, Kaikilani-alii-wahine-o-Puna had three children with Kanaloa-kuaana, but had no children with Lonoikamakahikii.

For some time after the accession of Kaikilani as Alii Aimoku, through the government of the island was carried on in her name, yet Kanaloakuaana appears to have acted as a Regent or Prime Minister as a special guardian of his younger brother, Lonoikamakahiki. After a while, Kanaloakuaana instituted a formal examination or trial of Lonoikamakahiki as to his qualifications as a warrior, a counsellor, and chief, and the latter having come out victorious in all the trials, Kaikilani was advised to share the throne and dignity with Lonoikamakahiki, and thenceforth the latter was hailed as Moi of Hawaii. For several years peace and prosperity prevailed on Hawaii and concord in the royal family.

Quarrel with Lono

Having regulated the government satisfactorily, and having no wars or rebellions to contend with, Lonoikamakahiki concluded to visit the other islands, especially Kauai, in search of some famous kind of wood of which spears were made. His wife Kaikilani accompanied him. Being overtaken by bad and stormy weather, Lono put in to Kalaupapa, on the norh-west side of the island of Molokai, for shelter. He hauled up his canoes, and remained the guest of the Kalaupapa chiefs until better weather should permit him to leave. To beguile the time while thus windbound, Lonoikamakahiki and Kaikilani frequently amused themselves with a game of 'Konane,' resembling the game of draughts, played on a checkered board with white and black squares. One day while thus occupied, seated in the open air, the faint sound as of some one hailing from the top of the overhanging Pali of 'Puupaneenee' reached the players.

Again the hail was repeated, and distinct and clear these words came down on the astounded ears of Lono: - (translated as Ho, Kaikilani! your lover Keakekoa, the son of Kalaulipali and Uli, is longing for you.') By her confusion and her attempts to divert the attention of Lono, Kaikilani confirmed him in his suspicions; and enraged at the infidelity of his wife, as well as at the audacity of the lover thus publicly to affront him, he snatched up the Konane board and struck Kaikilani so violent a blow on the head that she fell senseless and bleeding of the board flagstones where they had been sitting.

Full of his angry feelings, the chief ordered his canoes to be launched, and, sternly forbidding Kaikilani to follow him, set sail for Oahu that same day. It is said that this passionate exhibition of her husband's love, and the finding herself left alone and forbidden to accompany him, produced such revulsion in the mind of Kaikilani as to entirely break off her fondness for Keakekoa (if she really ever had had any such), who disappears, and is not further heard of in the legends.

Revolt in Hawaii

As soon as she had recovered from the wound inflicted by the Konane-board she sorrowfully returned to Hawaii. The news of the tragical episode at Kalaupapa had preceded her (Kaikilani's) arrival at Hawaii. The island was filled with concernation; the chiefs took counsel together how to avenge the reported death of Kaikilani and the indignity offered her; all the brothers of Lonoikamakahiki, and all the district chiefs except Pupuakea of Kau, joined in the revolt, Kanaloakuaana again assuming the regency and organising measures to intercept and slay Lonoikamakahiki should he attempt to land on the coast of Hawaii.

When Kaikilani arrived at Kohala from Molokai, she learned the news of this great revolt, and, with all the ardour of her old love for Lono reawakened, and only anxious for his safety, she quietly re-embarked and sailed for Kau, avoiding the rebel chiefs, and placing herself in communication with Pupuakea, the only chief of note that still adhered to the fortunes of Lonoikamakahiki. Under his advice and with his assistance men were assembled and measures taken to recover the lost suspremacy of Lono. In view, however, of the superior forces and personal character of the revolted chiefs, it was thought that Lono's presence was absolutely needed as a counterpose before commencing active hostilities. In this dilemma Kaikilani resolved to go to Oahu and personally acquaint her husband with the start of affairs on Hawaii, and by this proof of her returned love endeavour to win back his affections and induce him to return.

Consolation with Lono

One day when Lonoikamakahiki and Kakuhihewa were playing Konane, Kaikilani arrived from Hawaii. Going up to the enclosure of the palace and perceiving Lono inside occupied at the game and with his back towards her, she commenced chanting his Mele inoa - 'the chant of his name' - in the well-known strain: - "O Kahikohonua ia Elekau Kama, O Halalakauluonae,"

At the very first intonation of the chant, Lono knew who the singer was, and remembering the unpleasant affair at Kalaupapa, resolutely kept his seat without looking around to the singer. But as stave after stave of the chant rolled over the lips of Kaikilani, and allusions to common ancestors and scenes endeared to both came home to the obdurate mind of her husband, the stern heart relented; yet, mastering his emotions until she had finished, he turned around, and in reply chanted her own name. This was the token of his forgiveness and reconciliation, and gladly Kaikilani sprang to her husband and was again tenderly saluted by him. This mutual public recognition between the two sovereigns of Hawaii solved the mystification and the incognito of Lono's presence at Kakuhihewa's court, which form so large a portion of the legend. Informed by Kaikilani of the revolt on Hawaii, Lonoikamakahiki left Oahu at once.

She died in 1605, having had issue, one son and two daughters: Keakealani-kane, who would become the 18th Alii Aimoku of Hawaii Alii Keali'i-o-kalani who married her half-brother, Keakealani-kane, 18th Alii Aimoku of Hawaii. Alii Kalani-o-'Umi who married Alii Umi-nui-kukailani, youngest son of her uncle, Alii Makakaualii, by his second wife, Alii Ka'akauawao.


  • Abraham Fornander, An Account of the Polynesian Race: Its Origin and Migrations, Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1969

External links

Preceded by
Aliʻi Aimoku of Hawai‘i
1550 - 1605
Succeeded by


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