The Ali'i Nui of the Old Kingdoms

King Kamehameha I (Kamehameha Paiea, Kamehameha Nui, Kamehameha the Great) conquered and subdued the people of all the islands in the late 1700's and early 1800's.  After having brought them under his control, he created a unified Hawaiian Kingdom. Before this, the Hawaiian Islands was ruled by a network of independent island kings (High Chiefs called Ali'i Nui) through most of its history.

The ancient hereditary kings of the individual islands were deposed. Two were killed in battle. Most of the family members who survived the wars of conquest were brought to live in Kamehameha's new court or were permitted to enter private life in the new kingdom with the respect and privileges befitting their former station and royal lineage.

Below are the Ali'i Nui genealogies as they relate to the Kekoolani family. Many Hawaiian families are also connected to these lineages through their various genealogies.













Old Kingdom of Hawaii (Big Island) - Keawe Lineage (from Chief Keawemauhili)

A chart showing descent from King Keawe (Keaweikekahialiimoku) of Hawaii, through his son Kalaninuiiamamao, whose name chant is the famous Kumulipo. This chart also shows descent from his grandson, Keawemauhili whose blazing hereditary kapus were intertwined and magnified through birth and therefore produced a rare twice tabued chief, who was called  iwiiapuu and iwilakee due to this unusual intertwined kapu. Observe also the high chiefly descent of Keawe's son Kalaninuiiamamao from the powerful 'I family of Hilo and also the Maui royal family through his mother, the legendary chiefess Lonomaaikanaka, first wife of King Keawe. This chart corrects common errors in the current understanding of how the members of family, this senior Keawe line, were related to one another.




Old Kingdom of O'ahu - Kuali'i Lineage (from King Kahahana)

A chart showing descent from King Kuali'i (Kualiilanipipililanioakaiakunuiakealuanuuokuiialiiikahalau) through his grandson King Kahahana, the last King of Oahu. This chart shows also King Kahahana's descent from the Maui royal family through his grandmother, Kalanikahimakaialii, sister of King Kekaulike of Maui. The two children of King Kahahana, a boy and a girl, were rescued during Kamehameha's war of conquest and raised by the 'I family of Hilo. They married each other in the last traditional pio (royal interfamily) marriage recorded in the Hawaiian Islands. This ancient ritual of Hawaii was believed to increase the mana and royal purity of the resulting offspring. One of those offspring was the alii wahine Akaka Kukalani, our ancestress.




Old Kingdom of Kauai - Lonokahaupu Lineage (from Chief Keeaumoku)

A chart showing Kekoolani descent from Lonokahaupu, King of Kauai, through his son the high chief of Oahu, Kauai and Hawaii known as Keawepoepoe, whose mother was the great Kalanikauleleaiwi, Queen of Hawaii (Big Island), half-sister and second wife of King Keawe (Big Island ruling chief). Because of his mother, Keawepoepoe was numbered among the Big Island chiefs. Keawepoepoe was also a royal blood prince of Kauai, so he was able to share with the Big Island chiefs the use of  the highly coveted prostrating kapu called Pihenakalani. Before Keawepoepoe, this honor was reserved for the ali'i of Kauai only. Full prostration in the presence of high chiefs was not permitted or practised on the island of Hawaii. Keawepoepoe's twin brothers, Kame'eiamoku and Kamanawa are the royal twins which appear on the Great Seal of Hawaii. These three brothers were the earliest champions and supporters of Kamehameha the Great and dedicated their lives to his rise to power. Keawepoepoe's son was the famous war leader Keeaumoku (Keeaumoku Papaiahiahi Opio or Keeaumoku II), who guided Kamehameha's forces to victory. Keeaumoku Opio sealed Kamehameha's victory over all the islands by killing Kamehameha's arch rival the sacred high chief Kiwalao in hand-to-hand combat. This chart also shows the genealogical relationship of the Kekoolani family to the Kamehameha Dynasty.




Old Kingdom of Maui - Kekaulike Lineage (from the Sacred High Chief Kalanikauiokikilo)

A chart showing Kekoolani descent from Kekaulike (Kekaulikeokalanikuihonoikamoku), King of Maui, through his son Kamehamehanui Ailuau, King of Maui, who was also the uncle and namesake of Kamehameha Paiea (born a generation later) . Kamehameha Paiea's biological father was Kahekili, brother of Kamehamehanui Ailuau. Kahekili also became a King of Maui following the death of his brother. This chart shows the intensification of pio (interfamily) marriages within the Maui royal family as they approached the end of their thousand year dynasty. The ancient religious practice of  interfamily marriages, was believed to increase the mana and ritual purity of the offspring. On Maui, it's final genealogical culmination was the birth of our ancestors, the sacred royal chiefs Kalaniulumoku I and Kalaniulumoku II (also called Ulumoku I and II) whose mother was the ali'i wahine Kalanikauiokikilo (Kalanikauiokikilo Kalaniwaiakua Kekumanomanookekapu, the chiefess of Maui "whose head is held high in the daytime"). She was the chiefess whose hereditary rank was so high and whose kapus were so numerous and severe that religious protocols required she during the day she must always be positioned at a specific angle to the sun. Kalanikauiokikilo's high ranking mother Kalola, Queen of Maui, permitted Kalanikauiokilio's sister Keku'iapoiwanui Liliha and Kalanikaiokikilo's niece Keopuolani to marry the new king Kamehameha the Great after his conquest of Maui. But Kalanikaukiokikilo, Kalola's eldest daughter, being a chiefess of higher rank than her own mother and was respectfully not offered to the new king. While the surviving conquered chiefs bowed to and sought favors from Kamehameha, chiefess Kalanikaukiokikilo remained remote and aloof, confident in her own superior rank as a highly tabued chiefess of ancient ancestry. In defiance, she offended the victorious Kamehameha the Great by refusing him an audience when he came to pay his respects at her estate on Maui. She was subsequently sentence to death by the angry Kamehameha, but a female attendant named Polo-ahi-lana (Pauhilani) voluntarily disguised and substituted herself for Kalanikauiokikilo at the temple where law breaking chiefesses were by custom executed by fire. The human sacrifice of Poloahilani was offered to Kamehameha's war god Ku-Kailimoku in the Pihana heiau on the night of Koloa of the moon month. It is said she walked gracefully into the fire and died without making a single sound. Kalanikauiokikilo was eventually discovered and involuntarily brought to live at Kamehameha's court as a secondary figure of little importance. She was often taunted at court because of her reduced status. Her niece Keopualani and sister Keku'iapoiwanui Liliha fared better as the mother and grandmother of Kamhemeha's heirs, the future kings Kamehameha II and III. The story of Kalankauiokikilo ended sadly as her unending despair caused her to take her own life.