Royal Order of Kamehameha I

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Royal Order of Kamehameha I
2012 King Kamehameha Parade (7435727046).jpg
Members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I in 2012
Type Knightly Order, Dynastic order
Country The Kingdom of Hawaii
Royal house House of Kamehameha
Aliʻi Nui William Roback Jr. (2010)
Star of Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Kamehameha I

The Royal Order of Kamehameha I is an order of knighthood established by His Majesty, Kamehameha V (Lot Kapuaiwa Kalanikapuapaikalaninui Ali`iolani Kalanimakua) in 1865, to promote and defend the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Established by the 1864 Constitution, the Order of Kamehameha I is the second order of its kind in Hawaii.


After Lot Kapuāiwa took the throne as King Kamehameha V, he established, by special decree,[1] the Order of Kamehameha I on April 11, 1865, named to honor his grandfather Kamehameha I,[2] founder of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the House of Kamehameha. Its purpose to promote and defend the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Until the reign of Kalakaua, this would be the only Order instituted.[3]

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 now Royal order to a benevolent society and established new civic clubs to act as grassroots organizations in advocacy of native Hawaiians.[4]


The purpose of the formerly 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.[5]

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.[6]


  1. ^ Kamehameha V (King of the Hawaiian Islands) (1865). Decree to Establish the Royal Order of Kamehameha I. by Authority. 
  2. ^ Brien Foerster. The Real History Of Hawaii: From Origins To The End Of The Monarchy. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-300-46126-5. 
  3. ^ Ralph S. Kuykendall (1 January 1967). The Hawaiian Kingdom: 1874-1893, the Kalakaua dynasty. University of Hawaii Press. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-87022-433-1. 
  4. ^ Dot Uchima (July 2006). "Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs History". Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  5. ^ Paul K. Neves. "Kamehameha Hall Nomination form" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  6. ^ 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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