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Queen of Kauaʻi
Feather cape
The ʻahuʻula (feather cape) of Kamakahelei, Bishop Museum
Successor Kaumualii
Spouse Kaneoneo
Issue Lelemahoalani
Father Kaumeheiwa
Mother Kaʻapuwai
Died 1794

Kamakahelei (c. 18th century - 1794), was Aliʻi Aimoku, or Queen regnant, of the island of Kauaʻi. She was the ruling chiefess of Kauaʻi reigning from 1770 - 1794. In some historical references she has been described as a regent for her sons Keawe and Kaumualii. She was the sovereign of the Island of Kauai at the time Captain James Cook landed on the Kauaian shores. The Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School in the district of Puhi is named after her. This school serves the Kalaheo to Hanamaulu districts on the island of Kauai.


Kamakahelei was the only daughter of High Chief Kaumeheiwa, the son of High Chief Lonoikahaupu and High Chiefess Kamuokaumeheiwa, and his wife, High Chief Kaʻapuwai, possibly the daughter of Peleioholani, Alii Aimoku of Oahu and Alii Aimoku of Kauai. Her grandfather Lonoikahaupu was five generation in descent from the 13th Alii Aimoku of Kauai, Kalanikukuma, and his family had traditionally ruled in Waimea and the south-western section of the island, although always in subordination to the elder line of Kauaian chiefs. It is unclear why Kamakahelei succeeded Peleioholani as the Aliʻi of Kauaʻi. It is not even certain that she was his granddaughter or even a close relative. The legends remain silent between the transaction of rule between the two dynasties.

She first married Kaneoneo, Peleʻioholani's grandson and the pretender the throne of Oʻahu of the Kualii line. He had rights to the succession to Kauaʻi, but it is not known if he ever contended with his wife over the rule of the island. Her husband's father, Kūmahana, was deposed by the ʻEwa chiefs who replaced him with Kahahana, who would become the last king of Oahu. She had two daughters with her first husband, Lelemahoalani and Kapuaʻamohu. Kaneoneo died during the rebellion on Oʻahu against Mauian King Kahekili II in the year 1785 or 86.[1]:297-298

Kamakahelei's second marriage was to Kaeokulani, a prince of Maui, brother of Kahekili II. Kaumualii was the product of her second marriage and so was the union of the island of Niihau, her husband's domain, and the Island of Kauai.[2]


After Kamakahelei's death in 1794, her husband Kaeokulani may have briefly taken regency over his son as he did his nephew Kalanikūpule's inheritance of Maui. Kaeokulani proved unlucky and dies the same year being killed at the Battle of Kukiiahu. at Kalauao, Oahu on December 12, 1794. Her son continued to ruled the kingdom of Kauaʻi independently until he consented in peacefully becoming a vassal of Kamehameha the Great.[2]


  1. ^ Abraham Fornander (1880). John F. G. Stokes, ed. An Account of the Polynesian Race: Its Origins and Migrations, and the Ancient History of the Hawaiian People to the Times of Kamehameha I 2. Trübner & Co. pp. 140–142, 211–212, 225. 
  2. ^ a b Christopher Buyers. "Kauai Genealogy". Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
Preceded by
Aliʻi Aimoku of Kauaʻi
1770 - 1794
Succeeded by