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Chief Kahekili
Birth: 1710
Death: 1794

Last Independent King of Maui. Kahekili means "The Thunderer." Although unproven, there is a rumor that states that Kahekili may, in fact, have been the true father of Kamehameha I, although Kamehameha would never admit to it. He was also Kamehameha's chief rival over the years. Kahekili's rule over Maui began in 1736, and he was known as a "pahupu" or "cut-in-two" warrior, because half his body was tattooed black. He successfully defended his capital on Maui, Wailuku, in a great battle in the 1770s, when an army of warriors from Hawaii led by Kalani'opu'u invaded. Kahekili's warriors hid behind the sand dunes scattered around Wailuku, surprised the invaders, and slaughtered them. During his sixty-year reign, Kahekili conquered almost all the other islands, invading Oahu and establishing his half-brother on the throne of Kauai. His prosperous yet brutal reign was not unlike the reign of his father, the Chief Kekaulike. However, his victories could not hold forever, and by 1790, Kahekili had grown too old to fight. Kamehameha successfully invaded Maui in 1790, defeating Kalanikapule, Kahekili's son and chosen heir, in a bloody battle at 'Iao Valley. However, Kamehameha had the advantage of a cannon, Lopaka, and his English advisors, John Young and Isaac Davis, to operate it, so it was not an entirely fair fight. The battle had gone from lower Wailuku all the way into Iao Valley, where the Maui warriors, under cannon fire, attempted to climb the steep cliff walls. Later, the Iao River was so choked with dead bodies that the water ran red with blood all the way down to Wailuku. For this reason, the battle is now known as either Ka'uwa'u-pali (Clawed Off the Cliff) or Ke-pani-wai (The Damming of the Waters). Kalanikupule was forced to flee over the mountains through Lahaina, and afterwards, fled to Oahu. Kamehameha briefly lost control of the island thereafter, when he was obliged to return to face his enemies at home, but by the time Kahekili died at Waikiki in 1794, Kamehameha was back in command on Maui. Within a year, he had taken over Oahu as well. Kahekili, as with most chiefs in those days, was buried in secret, and the location of his bones remains unknown. Today, Kahekili is remembered through both the Kahekili Beach Park and the Kahekili Highway, as well as a rock in Kaanapali known as Kahekili's Leap. His birthdate is in dispute. (bio by: Mongoose) 
Body lost or destroyed
Specifically: Body buried in Secret ritual
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Mongoose
Record added: Nov 29, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 8137267
Chief Kahekili
Added by: Mongoose
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