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“King Kamehameha”photo

Since 1871, a day in June has been dedicated to the celebration and remembrance of Kamehameha the Great, the man responsible for uniting the Hawaiian Islands into one kingdom.

King Kamehameha was known to have been a king of great physical strength, military prowess and intelligence. By uniting all the islands, he created a more peaceful environment for his people, pursued trade amongst the island for their unique resources, restored land and farming and introduced new ideas and technology by foreigners.

Today, there are many festivities dedicated to the memory of King Kamehameha. Though his final resting place remains a mystery, celebrations at the sites of his statues and important cultural sites occur in June. There are two on Maui: the King Kamehameha Parade in Lahaina and the lei draping ceremony in Wailea.

There are five King Kamehameha statues in the world. The one on Maui, sculpted by Herb Kawainui Kane, is supposed to be the most lifelike representation. It is located in the front drive entrance of Grand Wailea, standing tall with a spear in one hand illustrating his role as protector of the land and his people while his other hand reaches out to signify his willingness to open his culture to the world and embrace others.

King Kamehameha Day is the only holiday in the United States that honors a monarch.

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