About Contact Sponsor Volunteer
Info Grafik Inc.
Home Ancient Hawaii Hawaii Timeline articles photos Contribute
Sign InRegister
You're here: Home » Library » Short Stories

Talk Story
Timeline Guest!
Find something to talk about on this page? Share your story here.

Add to the Timeline
Add an event or photo.
Add an article on a specific topic, person or detailed event.

Breaking of the kapu

Shortly after his father's death and his succession to power, Kamehameha's son Liholiho disregarded the sanctity of the kapu system that was the backbone of Hawaiian society. Encouraged by his mother, Keopuolani, and regent Ka'ahumanu, two of Kamehameha's widows, Liholiho defied tradition by allowing men and women to eat together without restriction at a feast attended by high chiefs and several foreigners. Called the 'Ai Noa, his act shook the foundation and eventually brought the demise of an entire belief system. While some priests like Hewahewa embraced the changes, others like Kekuaokalani (the keeper of Kamehameha's war god Kuka'ilimoku) rebelled. The rebellion was quickly put down, however, and the ancient gods were abandoned as temples were dismantled and idols burned.

 Sites for further information

An Article Describing the History of the Kapu System

Law Enforcement in Hawai`i in Pre-contact years (Honolulu Police Department)

The Story of a Battle which Changed Kapu System (Aloha Airlines)

A Description of the Hawaiian Religion and the Destruction of the Kapu System (National Park Service)

A Description of the Overthrow of the Kapu System (National Park Service)

Report a broken link.

Back to the top | Print or Email page.

© Info Grafik Inc.     Privacy Policy & Terms of Use.     About the Hawaiian Language on this site.