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Kikuanoki, by H. B. Martin.jpg
"Kikuanoki" by Admiral Sir Henry Byam Martin
Spouse Kamehameha II (as Queen)
Kahalaiʻa Luanuʻu
Levi Haʻalelea
Issue William Pitt Kīnaʻu II
Abigail Maheha (hānai)
Anna Kaiʻulani (hānai)
Full name
Miriam or Mikahela Keahikuni Kekauʻōnohi
House House of Kamehameha
Father Kahōʻanokū Kīnaʻu
Mother Kahakuhaʻakoi Wahinepio
Born c. 1805
Lahaina, Maui
Died June 2, 1851(1851-06-02)
Honolulu, Oʻahu
Burial June 30, 1851[1]
Mokuʻula then
Waineʻe Cemetery
Kekauʻōnohi, alongside the pall-bearers in the center of funeral procession of Queen Keōpūolani, 1823.

Keahikuni Kekauʻōnohi (c. 1805–1851) was a Hawaiian high chiefess who was a member of the House of Kamehameha. She was granddaughter to King Kamehameha I and one of the wives of Kamehameha II. Her Christian name is disputed; it is given as Mikahela in the 1848 Mahele Book and as Miriam in later sources.[2][1][3]


She was born circa 1805 at Lahaina, Maui. Her father was Kahōʻanokū Kīnaʻu. Her mother was Kahakuhaʻakoi Wahinepio, sister of Boki and Kalanimoku and granddaughter of Aliʻi Nui, Kekaulike of Maui. Her father was a son of Kamehameha I and his wife Peleuli, daughter of Kamanawa, one of the royal twins.[4]

She married her uncle Kamehameha II. She was one of his five wives. Others were Kamāmalu, Pauahi, Kīnaʻu, and Kekāuluohi. She was the youngest, but Kamāmalu was Liholiho's favorite.[5] She was at the famous meal when the kapu system was overturned in 1819, known as the ʻAi Noa. After Liholiho's death in London, she went to Kauai and married her half-brother Kahalaiʻa Luanuʻu.[6]

Kekauʻōnohi served as a governor of the island of Kauaʻi some time around 1840–1845[7] and was a stanch Protestant.[8] Kamehameha III created the House of Nobles in the Hawaiian Constitution of 1840.[9] She was among the first members along with the King, Hoapiliwahine, Pākī, Kōnia, Keohokalole, Kuakini, Kahekili, Leleiohoku I, Kekuanaoa, Kealiʻiahonui, Kanaʻina, Keoni Ii, Keoni Ana, and Haʻalilio.[10]

After the death of Kuhina Nui, Kaʻahumanu in 1832, she remarried Kealiʻiahonui, former aliʻi of Kauaʻi and the son of Al'iʻI Nui, Kaumualiʻi of Kauaʻi. They had no children. After his death in 1849 she remarried Levi Haʻalelea, a relative of Queen Kalama (wife of Kamehameha III) and had a son named William Pitt Kīnaʻu, who died young.[11] She inherited most of the land of her uncle William Pitt Kalanimoku. She died in Honolulu June 2, 1851 age 46. Stephen Reynolds in his Journal noted at her death that she was "the last of the old stock of chiefs – one of the best of them – good natured, benevolent, liberal and generous."[citation needed] She left her land to her husband. She was foster mother of her nieces Abigail Maheha and Anna Kaiʻulani.[12]

When the Admiral Henry Byam Martin, aboard HMS Grampus, visited the islands in 1846, he described the Princess Kikuanoki:

The arrival of Kikuanoki — granddaughter of Kamehameha 1st and 1st cousin of the present King — was a treat. She sailed into the room with all the pomp and majesty of Q. Elizabeth. Her dress — evidently got up for the occasion — was a very transparent muslin shirt — through which those parts of her person which in most countries are covered were very visible. A green crape shawl — and a band of red & yellow (the royal colours) round her head completed her costume.[13]


  1. ^ a b Forbes 2001, p. 11.
  2. ^ Kameʻeleihiwa 1995, pp. 290-291.
  3. ^ Hawaii Supreme Court & Grimes 1866, p. 543.
  4. ^ Liliuokalani 1898, pp. 401–403.
  5. ^ Stewart 1839, p. 261.
  6. ^ Freycinet 1978, p. 108.
  7. ^ "Governor of Kauai". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  8. ^ Joesting 1988, p. 146.
  9. ^ "Kekauonohi, M office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  10. ^ Hill 1856, p. 413.
  11. ^ Pratt 2009, p. 40.
  12. ^ Liliuokalani 1898, pp. 8, 401.
  13. ^ Martin 1981, pp. 25–26.