A Brief History of Kamehameha

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Kamehameha: The Warrior King of Hawaii

I got a handful of books at the gift shop of Iolani Place. One of these was a short book called “Kamehameha: The Warrior King of Hawai’i” by Susan Morrison. The book is a lot shorter than I thought, I was able to finish it in a single 40 minute reading.

Morrison pieced together the history of Kamehameha through various primary and secondary sources. Since his reign predates the written history of Hawai’i much of the story will never be known. The author liberally fills in the blanks with bits of fiction and narrative to keep the story moving.

The genesis of Kamehameha story reads like Exodus with a prophecy scaring the ruling king into murdering children similar to what the Pharos did in the time of Moses. From biblical overtones we move on to Disney’s the Lion King where someone tells Kamehameha that “One day all of this will be yours”. The book ends with an episode of Maury where we discover who Kamehameha’s father is.

Overall the story was interesting. My biggest complaint is that it romanticizes the carnage, death, and destruction that Kamehameha caused in order to unify the islands. Notably, performing human sacrifices in order to have good luck in battle.

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