Ahu‘ena Heiau Planning 2019 Events

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The Board of Directors of the nonprofit Ahu‘ena Heiau Inc. have started planning efforts to commemorate the 200th year anniversary of King Kamehameha the Great’s passing at Ahu‘ena on Kamakahonu Bay in Kona’s Historic Kailua Village.

Ahu‘ena Heiau. Courtesy photo.

The now restored Ahu‘ena Heiau is the religious temple that served King Kamehameha the Great when he returned to the island of Hawai‘i in 1812. It was the center of political power in the Hawaiian kingdom during Kamehameha’s golden years and his highest advisors gathered at the heiau each night.

Three momentous events occurred here which established Ahu‘ena Heiau as perhaps the most historically significant site in Hawai‘i.

  1. In the early morning hours of May, 8, 1819, King Kamehameha I died here.
  2. A few months after the death of his father, in a time of political consternation and the threat of civil war, Liholiho (Kamehameha II) broke the ancient kapu system, a highly defined regime of taboos that provided the framework of the traditional Hawaiian government and society.
  3. The first Christian missionaries from New England were granted permission to come ashore here on April 4, 1820.

2019 Commemoration Events


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Kahu Kealoha Kaopua and Kauhane Heloca will lead a procession of 15 to 20 chanters at 5 a.m. along Ali‘i Drive and leading to a sunrise 5:41 a.m. ceremony with appropriate protocols at Ahu‘ena Heiau. The Royal Order Kamehameha I Moku o Kona will chant E Ala E at sunrise. Hawaiian societies, cultural entities, civic clubs and others are invited to attend and present ho‘okupu.

Educational walking tours of Ahu‘ena Heiau and Kamakahonu will continue throughout the day. Kamakahonu was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1962 and was placed on the Hawai‘i State Register of Historic Places in 1993.


Chanters wishing to participate and cultural groups wanting to present hookupu are invited to contact Kealoha Kaopua [email protected] or Kauhane Heloca [email protected] for more detailed event information.

“We invite the community to join us and commemorate King Kamehameha the Great’s legacy on the 200th anniversary of his passing,” stated Ahu’ena Heiau Board Chair Tom Hickcox. “An important component of the commemoration events will be an educational initiative with our local schools so our keiki know the stories and legacy of our great king.”

Saturday, May 11, 2019



King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel Luau Grounds

Celebrate King Kamehameha’s legacy with cultural demonstrations, tiki carving and lauhala weaving demonstrations, traditional Hawaiian games, keiki hula, Hawaiian entertainment and Hawaiian food.

For more information contact Ahu‘ena Heiau, Inc. Board Chair Tommy Hickcox at (808) 756-0756.

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