King Kaumuali‘i Statue Dedicated

Chris Cook and Aletha Kaohi following the dedication of the Kaumuali‘i statue.

I attended the unveiling and dedication of Ho‘ola‘a O King Kaumuali‘i, an eight-foot tall bronze statue of the last ruler of Kaua‘i.

The event took place at Paula‘ula, the traditional homesite of Kaumuali‘i the last king of Kaua‘i, on the grounds of the Russian Fort Elizabeth State Park in Waimea Kauai on Saturday, March 20, 2021.

Kaumuali‘i rejoiced in May 1820 at the return of his long-lost son Humehume (George Kaumuali‘i) who was returned to Kaua‘i from New England accompanying the Pioneer Company. The Kaua‘i king provided land and support for a missionary station at Waimea. He enjoyed reading a Bible with his name inscribed on its cover brought to him by the “Samuels,“ pioneer company missionaries Samuel Whitney and Samuel Ruggles.

I joined Aletha Kawelukawahinehololio‘olimaloa Goodwin Kaohi, a lifetime resident of Waimea and a direct descendant of Kaumuali‘i. Aletha worked with the Friends of King Kaumuali‘i organization for years to complete the project. The Legislature provided over $200,000 in funding to allow completion of the statue created by Kauai-based sculptor Siam Caglayan. 

Over the years, I have assisted Aletha with writing and photographs for Kaua‘i history and Kalewina (the Native Hawaiian Congregational churches of Hawai‘i) projects.

Professor Peter Mills, head of the Anthropology Department at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, flew in for the event. Peter is the author of Hawaii’s Russian Adventure: A New Look at Old History from the UH Press, a book that provides a definitive account of how Kaumuali‘i and the people of Kaua‘i actually built the fort at Waimea, not a party from the Russian-American Company.

Learn about the King Kamualii statue and the Friends of King Kaumuali‘i

2 thoughts on “King Kaumuali‘i Statue Dedicated

  1. Aloha Christopher Cook ~

    I noted your book “Preparing the Way”.

    I’m related to Betsy Stockton, and thought it would be nice to discuss sometime.

    • Thanks for contacting me. Would be appreciative to hear about Betsey’s legacy amongst her family. I serve as a trustee with the Hawaiian Mission Houses, the non-profit organization of the missionary descendants of Hawaii. ( The HMH recently featured an actor portraying Betsey Stockton in an online theatrical presentation. In fall 2022 in New Haven, Conn. and Princeton N.J., and in spring 2023 in Maui and Honolulu, Betsey and her legacy in Hawaii will be honored by the HMH. Betsey is notable in the history of Hawaii for opening the first school for the non-royalty of Hawaii, in Lahaina, Maui. A new book on Betsey’s life is being published by the University of Chicago Press ( Aloha, Chris Cook

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