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Fodor's Big Island of Hawaii
King Kamehameha Statue
King Kamehameha Statue Review
A statue of Kamehameha the Great, the legendary king who united the Hawaiian Islands, stands watch over his descendants in North Kohala. The 8½-foot-tall figure bears the king's sacred feather kihei, mahiole, and kaei (cape, helmet, and sash). This is the original of the statue fronting the Judiciary Building on King Street in Honolulu. Cast in Florence in 1880, it was lost at sea when the German ship transporting it sank near the Falkland Islands. A replica was then commissioned and shipped to Honolulu. Two years after its disappearence, the original statue was found in a junkyard in the Falkland Islands; it was missing an arm, which has since been replaced. This statue was transported to the remote northern tip of the Big Island, Kamehameha's birthplace: it's in front of the old Kohala Courthouse in Kapaau, next to the highway on the way toward Pololu Valley.
Every year on King Kamehameha Day (June 11), Kohala residents honor their most famous son with a celebration that involves a parade and draping the statue in dozens of handmade floral lei.
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