June 11th is King Kamehameha Day in Hawaii. Who was this honored Hawaiian king? His biggest claim to fame was uniting the Hawaiian islands under one rule in 1795. On Kamehameha Day, his statues will be visited and adorned with many leis.
There are four statues of King Kamehameha in the US. We took the photo above in the small town of Kapaau in the North Kohala region of the Big Island where King Kamehameha was born. (The statue is located on the mauka (mountain) side in front of the police department.) The community there puts on a big celebration each year. Here’s where you can find the three other statues:
- In Hilo on the Big Island in Wailoa State Park. Hilo was Kamehameha’s first seat of government and this statue, is the tallest of the four statues at fourteen feet. Hilo is also home to the Naha Stone, which a young Kamehameha was said to have overturned in a feat of incredible strength. Legend had it that whoever had the strength to move the Naha Stone would rule the Hawaiian Islands. Today, the Naha Stone is located in front of the Hilo Public Library. Source
- On Oahu in downtown Honolulu, Oahu. The statue is located in front of Aliiolani Hale (the judiciary building) and across from Iolani Palace.
- National Statuary Hall, Washington D.C. In 1969, the third Kamehameha statue was unveiled in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall where statues of historic figures from all 50 states are on display. A statue of Molokai’s Father Damien joins the Kamehameha I statue in this collection of art.
With King Kamehameha Day being one of Hawaii’s state holidays, some public and private services and businesses may be closed in observance of the day.
Happy King Kamehameha Day!