ʻŌmaʻomaʻo means green.
Mānoa Valley was a favored spot of the Ali‘i, including Kamehameha I, Chief Boki (Governor of O‘ahu), Haʻalilio (an advisor to King Kamehameha III,) Princess Victoria, Kanaʻina (father of King Lunalilo), Lunalilo, Keʻelikōlani (half-sister of Kamehameha IV) and Queen Lili‘uokalani. The chiefs lived on the west side, the maka‘āinana (commoners) on the east.
Queen Kaʻahumanu lived there; her home was called Pukaʻōmaʻomaʻo (Green Gateway) was situated deep in the valley (lit., green opening; referring to its green painted doors and blinds – It is alternatively referred to as Pukaʻōmaʻo.)
“Her residence is beautifully situated and the selection of the spot quite in taste. The house … stands on the height of a gently swelling knoll, commanding, in front, an open and extensive view of all the rich plantations of the valley …”
“… of the mountain streams meandering through them … of the district of Waititi; and of Diamond Hill, and a considerable part of the plain, with the ocean far beyond.” (Stewart; Sterling & Summers)
It was doubtless the same sort of grass house which was in general use, although probably more spacious and elaborate as befitted a queen. The dimension in one direction was 60 feet. The place name of the area was known as Kahoiwai, or “Returning Waters.”
“Immediately behind the house, and partially flanking it on either side, is a delightful grove of the dark leaved and crimson blossomed ʻŌhia, so thick and so shady … filled with cool and retired walks and natural retreats, and echoing to the cheerful notes of the little songsters, who find security in its shades to build their nests and lay their young.”
“The view of the head of the valley inland, from the clumps and single trees edging this copse, is very rich and beautiful; presenting a circuit of two or three miles delightfully variegated by hill and dale, wood and lawn, and enclosed in a sweep of splendid mountains, one of which in the centre rises to a height of three thousand feet.”
“In one edge of this grove, a few rods from the house, stands a little cottage built by Kaahumanu, for the accommodation of the missionaries who visit her when at this residence. …”
“(It) is very frequently occupied a day or two at a time, by one and another of the families most enervated by the heat and dust, the toil, and various exhausting cares of the establishment at the sea-shore.“ (Stewart; Sterling & Summers)
“Not far makai … High Chief Kalanimōku, had very early allotted to the Mission the use of farm plots thus noted in its journal of June, 1823: “On Monday the 2d, Krimakoo and the king’s mother granted to the brethren three small pieces of land cultivated …”
“… with taro, potatoes, bananas, melons, &c. and containing nineteen bread-fruit trees, from which they may derive no small portion of the fruit and vegetables needed by the family.” (Damon)
Then, in mid-1832, Kaʻahumanu became ill and was taken to her house in Mānoa, where a bed of maile and leaves of ginger was prepared. “Her strength failed daily. She was gentle as a lamb, and treated her attendants with great tenderness. She would say to her waiting women, ‘Do sit down; you are very tired; I make you weary.’” (Bingham)
“The king, his sister, other members of the aliʻi and many retainers had already arrived at Pukaomaomao and had dressed the large grass house for the dying queen’s last homecoming. The walls of the main room had been hung with ropes of sweet maile and decorated with lehua blossoms and great stalks of fragrant mountain ginger.”
“The couch upon which Kaahumanu was to rest had been prepared with loving care. Spread first with sweet-scented maile and ginger leaves, it was then covered with a golden velvet coverlet. At the head and foot stood towering leather kahilis. Over a chair nearby was draped the Kamehameha feather cloak which had been worn by Kaahumanu since the monarch’s death.” (Mellon; Sterling & Summers)
“The slow and solemn tolling of the bell struck on the pained ear as it had never done before in the Sandwich Islands. In other bereavements, after the Gospel took effect, we had not only had the care and promise of our heavenly Father, but a queen-mother remaining, whose force, integrity, and kindness, could be relied on still.”
“But words can but feebly express the emotions that struggled in the bosoms of some who counted themselves mourners in those solemn hours; while memory glanced back through her most singular history, and faith followed her course onward, far into the future.” (Hiram Bingham)
Her death took place at ten minutes past 3 o’clock on the morning of June 5, 1832, “after an illness of about 3 weeks in which she exhibited her unabated attachment to the Christian teachers and reliance on Christ, her Saviour.” (Hiram Bingham)
There is another reference related to Ka‘ahumanu and the color green … “She, and some others, much wish to have bonnets – this is a pleasant circumstance to us. The inquiry has sometimes been made, in our letters, what could be sent as presents that would please these waihines.”
“Indeed, I have hinted to the queen, that perhaps some of the good ladies in America since she was attending to the palapala, would probably send her one.”
“Considering that, I would here request, that if it could easily be done, one, at least, might be sent by an early conveyance. As soon as I can have a green one, I shall present mine where I think it will do the most good”. (Sybil Bingham Journal, October 4, 1822)
It’s not clear if there is a direct association with Ka‘ahumanu and any preference for the color green – if so, then these references are interesting coincidences.