Digital Illustration, 2020
Ka’ahumanu was born in a cave called Puu Kauiki in Hāna on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. Without Queen Kaahumanu, the favourite wife of King Kamehameha I,
it is doubtful that the man who united the Hawaiian Islands under his royal
reign would have succeeded at all.
Her power and influence, however, stretched far beyond supporting him.
She would transform the foundations of a kingdom while overthrowing an ancient religion and challenging the reigning religion of the west.
When she was about ten years old,
her father gave her in marriage to the 30-year-old King Kamehameha. She and the
King grew inseparable. Women were not allowed to eat with men. And she,
as the wife of a chief, was not allowed to sleep with anyone else but her husband
to make sure that her child would be of royal lineage. Ka’ahumanu couldn’t
help but resent and question these taboos.