Kamā‘ule‘ule was the son of Kekuamanoha, a chief of Maui, and was a younger brother of Kalanimōku (but it was rumored that he was the son of Kahekili.) His nickname, ‘Boki’ or ‘Poki,’ came from a variation on ‘Boss’ (it was also the name of a supernatural dog.) Boki was appointed governor of O‘ahu and confirmed in his post by Kamehameha II. He married Liliha.
Boki agreed to the breaking of the tabus in 1819 and accepted the Protestant missionaries arriving in 1820, although he had been baptized as a Catholic aboard the French vessel of Louis de Freycinet, along with his brother Kalanimōku, the previous year. Boki and Liliha were among the ali‘i who accompanied King Kamehameha II and Queen Kamāmalu to England in 1824. Due to the sudden death of Kamehameha II from the measles, Boki lead the Hawaiian delegation to meet with King George IV.