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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.
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