Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for King

The Hawaiian king is not a symbol of Hawaii that most tourists will automatically think of… but the king (or someone who sure looks like him), and we’re not talking about Elvis this time, is the sign for noteworthy or historic landmarks recognized by the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau.  Anyone who’s driven around looking for the “place in the guidebook” may find it easier if there’s a big marker on the road.

The king is the official historic marker for Hawaii. 

But there’s more meaning to the symbol. I'm presuming that the king on the sign is Kamehameha the Great, the king who united the Hawaiian Islands after many gory battles. Among some Hawaiian families, there is still some anti-Kamehameha sentiment. Nonetheless, he or someone who looks kingly and regal, is the historic marker symbol of preference. 

Statue of King Kamehameha I in Washington, DC.
Original Source: Wikimedia  Commons by Gabriel Rodriguez, but I have altered this image.

Interestingly enough, the Hawaiian monarch's cape was made from tiny yellow bird feathers.
It was also considered kapu (or forbidden) to be in the king's shadow. 
I believe the penalty was death.  Yikes!
Luckily, you can step in the shadow of the king's historical marker w/o being killed. 
(Otherwise, there would be a lot fewer tourists and that would just 
nix the whole tourism economy.)

Painting of King Kamehameha I.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Aloha and mahalo (thank you) for reading!

P.S. If you're blog hopping from the A to Z Challenge, please include a link if you comment. 


  1. It seems like it might be a good idea to have something like that marking historic or noteworthy places. Sometimes the guidebooks don't do a very good job of explaining exactly where these place are. It sounds like King Kamehameha was kind of a rutheless leader. Wouldn't want to be caught in his shadow.

  2. Queen Liliuokalani is my favorite of the Hawaiian royalty. Next interesting is the king who traveled around the world--can't remember his name. I still have yet to finish the book about his travels though. Been on my bookshelf for a couple of decades. :-)
    Take 25 to Hollister
    Don't be a Hippie

  3. Interesting info!

    Reminds me of King's Hawaiian bread! I haven't had any in years, but I'm pretty sure it has King Kamehameha on the label.

    ~Tui, from #AtoZchallenge
    Tui Snider's Texas, Travel Photos & Reviews

  4. My 6th grade teacher was Hawaiian and so we learned about the kings. Hawaii has such a big presence as a tourist destination, the history is sometimes overlooked. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. I'm curious and have to look now.

  6. You're welcome, glad you hopped by!

  7. Definitely not! There were he'iau, sanctuaries, that people could escape to for protection. Considering some of the taboos and laws of old Hawaii, they were important places.


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