Royal Order of Kamehameha I

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Kamehameha Hall
Kamehameha Hall, Hilo.jpg
Meeting house in Hilo, Hawaii
Royal Order of Kamehameha I is located in Hawaii
Royal Order of Kamehameha I
Location 1162 Kalanianaole Avenue, Hilo, Hawaii
Coordinates 19°43′52″N 155°2′42″W / 19.73111°N 155.04500°W / 19.73111; -155.04500Coordinates: 19°43′52″N 155°2′42″W / 19.73111°N 155.04500°W / 19.73111; -155.04500
Area 1 acre (4,000 m2)
Built 1938
Governing body Royal Order of Kamehameha I
NRHP Reference # 93000426[1]
Added to NRHP May 20, 1993

In 1865, Lot Kapuaiwa Kalanikapuapaikalaninui Ali`iolani Kalanimakua, His Majesty King Kamehameha V with the authority of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii established the Order of Kamehameha I a Knightly Order established to promote and defend the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.


After Lot Kapuāiwa took the throne as King Kamehameha V, he established the Order of Kamehameha I on April 11, 1865 named to honor his grandfather Kamehameha I, known as Kamehameha the Great for unifying the Kingdom of Hawaii and founding the House of Kamehameha. Its purpose to promote and defend the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Upon the overthrow of the kingdom of Queen Liliʻuokalani, the provisional government of the Committee of Safety (many from conservative western missionary families) declared the order a threat to national security and forcibly suppressed it. The Order of Kamehameha I continued to exist as an underground society, keeping vigil for the restoration of the Hawaiian monarchy and to aid Hawaiians in need.

The Order was reorganized by Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole in 1902. In 1903, the Order of Kamehameha I came out of hiding when Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole led a torchlight ceremony to the statue of Kamehameha I in front of Aliʻiōlani Hale. He announced the reorganizing of the order to a benevolent society and established new civic clubs to act as grassroots organizations in advocacy of native Hawaiians.[2]


The purpose of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, as it is known today, is to unite men of Hawaiian descent in fraternal and benevolent work, good moral character, and sound bodily health; to cultivate the cardinal principles of friendship, charity and benevolence; to aid widows and orphans; to improve the social and moral conditions of its members; to provide scholarship assistance; to preserve and perpetuate the ancient culture, customs, and traditions of ancient Hawaiʻ, uplift the Hawaiian people; infuse the spirit of patriotism, loyalty, helpfulness and kindness among its members; advance the interest of its members in every rightful cause, and to encourage and develop leadership.

Today the order has nine Chapters:

  • Moku O Hawaiʻi (Central Oʻahu)
  • Moku O Mãmalahoa (Hilo, Hawaiʻi)
  • Moku O Kaumualiʻi (Kauaʻi)
  • Moku O Kahekili (Maui)
  • Moku O Kalaniana’ole (Molokaʻi)(Inactive)
  • Moku O Kuhio (Windward Oʻahu)
  • Moku O Kona (Kona, Hawaiʻi)
  • Moku O Kapuaiwa (Leeward Oʻahu)
  • Moku O Kohala (Kohala, Hawai'i)

The last remaining original meeting hall of the order, located at 1162 Kalanianaole Avenue in the Keaukaha community of Hilo, Hawaii, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 20, 1993.[1]

The Royal Order of Kamehameha I continues its work in observance and preservation of some native Hawaiian rituals and customs established by the leaders of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. It is often consulted by the U.S. Government, State of Hawaiʻi and the various county governments of Hawaiʻi in native Hawaiian-sensitive rites performed at state functions.[3]

In 2011, the Royal Order of Kamehameha I lobbied and was instrumental in the passing of the Hawai‘i State Legislature SB1520, which was signed into law as Act 195 by Governor Abercrombie, recognizing Native Hawaiians as the indigenous population of the Hawaiian Islands. The law establishes the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, with unpaid commissioners appointed by the Governor, to certify and publish a roll of Qualified Native Hawaiians. The NHRC starts the process that will eventually lead to federal recognition of Native Hawaiians. The Royal Order of Kamehameha I has endorsed and is an active supporter of the Kanaiolowalu initiative, which is a year-long campaign to reunify Native Hawaiians in the self-recognition of their unrelinquished sovereignty, by enrolling Native Hawaiians and supporters in the process of federal recognition.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Paul K. Neves. "Kamehameha Hall Nomination form". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Dot Uchima (July 2006). "Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs History". Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  3. ^ Bill Mossman. "Way of the Warrior: Native Hawaiian lecture series reveals ancient secrets". U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 

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