The Living God, Kamehameha III
Mokuʻula: Maui’s Sacred Island
Born a living god, Kamehameha III (r. 1825–1854) was the last traditional king of the Hawaiian Islands. His preferred domicile was a tiny, silty island within a large, freshwater fishpond at Lahaina, Maui. This sacred island of Mokuʻula was also home to the supernatural guardian of the royal family, the fearful lizard goddess Kihawahine.
Mokuʻula stood witness to one of the most trying times in Hawaiian history, with the introduction of Christianity, increasing domination of the kingdom by foreign powers, monetization of the economy, and commodification of the land. The kapu refuge at Mokuʻula, with the last god-king in residence, became a symbol of traditional Hawaiʻi and an emblem of resistance on a landscape of change.
Written by P. Christian Klieger Date of Publication: 1998 Size: 6 x 9 in. Pages: 124 Binding: paper
Available from Bishop Museum Press