At the time of ‘contact’ (Captain Cook’s arrival (1778,)) the Hawaiian Islands were divided into four kingdoms: (1) the island of Hawaiʻi under the rule of Kalaniʻōpuʻu, who also had possession of the Hāna district of east Maui; (2) Maui (except the Hāna district,) Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and Kahoʻolawe, ruled by Kahekili; (3) Oʻahu, under the rule of Kahahana; and (4) Kauaʻi and Niʻihau, Kamakahelei was ruler.
On the Big Island, one of Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s wives was Kānekapōlei (Kāne in the circle of beloved ones (ksbe.)) She is claimed by some to have been the daughter of Kauakahiakua of the Maui royal family and his wife Umiaemoku; some suggest she is said to have been of the Kaʻū family of chiefs.
According to Hawaiian historian Samuel Kamakau, her father Kauakahiakua owned the sea cucumber (loli) ovens of the district of Kaupo on the island of Maui.
Kalaniʻōpuʻu was born about 1729. His brother was Keōua. When Keōua (the father of Kamehameha) died, he commended Kamehameha to the care of Kalaniʻōpuʻu, who received him, and treated him as his own child. (Dibble)
Kalaniʻōpuʻu and Kānekapōlei had two sons, Keōua Kuʻahuʻula and Keōua Peʻeale.
In accordance with the ways of the high chiefs at the time, in his youth, Kamehameha had sexual relations with Kānekapōlei and had a son, Pauli Kaʻōleiokū (1767.)
(Among the chiefs, a boy was not only trained in warfare and government but when he was grown physically, a matured chiefess was chosen to train him in sexual practices. This was part of his education. Should a child result, he or she was reared by the mother. (Handy & Pukui))
Thus it was that Kamehameha claimed Kaʻōleiokū as “the son of my beardless youth,” at the dedication of the heiau of Puʻukohola. This was the son borne to him by Kānekapōlei, one of the wives of his uncle Kalaniʻōpuʻu. (Handy & Pukui) He was known as ‘keiki makahiapo’ (first-born child) of Kamehameha. (Stokes)
On December 1, 1778, Kaʻōleiokū, his brother Keōua Kuʻahuʻula and cousin Kamehameha, slept on board Captain Cook’s vessel ‘Resolution,’ when off the Maui coast. Since Cook’s vessels were regarded as “temples,” the stay overnight probably had a religious significance to the Hawaiians, because their worship ordained spending certain nights in the temples. (Stokes)
Lieut. King says Kaʻōleiokū was about twelve years old in 1779, and “used to boast of his being admitted to drink ava, and shewed us, with great triumph, a small spot in his side that was growing scaly. … (the) young son pointed to us some places on his hips that were becoming scaly, as a mark of his being long indulged in this Liquor.”
Kaʻōleiokū witnessed Cook’s death on February 14, 1779, with Kalaniʻōpuʻu and Keōua; he had already accepted Cook’s invitation to spend the day on board and proceeded ahead to the pinnace (a tender boat,) where he was seated at the time of the massacre. Greatly frightened at the firing, he asked to be put ashore again, which was done. (Stokes)
Keōua Kuʻahuʻula and his younger brother Kaʻōleiokū had for many years resisted Kamehameha’s attempts to conquer the whole of Hawaiʻi Island, after the death of Kiwalaʻo in the Battle of Mokuʻōhai (1782.) Keōua escaped the battle to relatives in the Kaʻū district to the South. (Stokes)
Keōua was killed in 1791, when Kamehameha invited him to the Puʻukoholā Heiau in Kohala. Kamakau tells of how Pauli Kaʻōleiokū was spared:
“On the arrival of the canoe of Pauli Kaʻōleiokū, in the vicinity where Keōua was killed … Kamehameha said: ‘He shall not die, as he is the son of my youth and this is the payment for my food on which I was reared.’ … (he then) proclaimed the Māmalahoe Law: the law of life in Kamehameha’s kingdom. When the people on board Pauli Kaʻōleiokū’s canoe heard the law proclaimed, they came ashore, and wails of mourning for the death of Keōuakū‘ahu‘ula resounded.”
Kamehameha had been living on Hawai‘i for four years when the news of the attempts of the Russians to set up a compound at Honolulu Harbor reached him (1815.) He sent Kalanimōku, Ulumāheihei, Nāihe, Kaikioʻewa, Kaʻōleiokū and Keʻeaumoku with numerous warriors equipped with foreign weapons. (Desha)
These aliʻi were commanded to go and fight with those foreigners if they opposed them, and to expel them from the land. They expelled the Russians. Kalanimōku, with the help of Kaʻōleiokū and other high chiefs built a fort at Honolulu, setting up some cannons on it. (Desha)
Pauli Kaʻōleiokū is said to have married twice, first Keōuawahine and then Luahine. With Luahine they had one child, Princess Konia; Princess Konia married Abner Paki, they had one child, Princess Bernice Pauahi. (He was also the maternal grandfather of Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani.)
Great granddaughter of Kamehameha I and granddaughter of Kānekapōlei, Princess Bernice Pauahi officially was eligible to the throne by order of Kamehameha III; she was offered the throne by Kamehameha V, but refused it. (Stokes)
In 1850, the princess was married at the Royal School to Mr Charles Reed Bishop of New York, who started the bank of what is now known as First Hawaiian Bank. A small wedding was conducted with only a few attending.
Princess Bernice Pauahi died childless on October 16, 1884. She foresaw the need to educate her people and in her will she left her large estate of the Kamehameha lands in trust to establish the Kamehameha Schools for children with Hawaiian blood.
(Some suggest Kaʻōleiokū was the son of Kalaniʻōpuʻu, not Kamehameha. Kalākaua suggests Kaʻōleiokū had four fathers, Kalaniʻōpuʻu, Kamehameha, Keawemauhili and Kaukamu, suggesting Kānekapōlei was sleeping with all of them.)
The image shows Konia, daughter of Kaʻōleiokū. In addition, I have included other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.