The Battle of Mokuʻōhai

April 19, 2021

The Battle of Mokuʻōhai

King Kamehameha I was known for conquering all of the Hawaiian islands. The Battle of Mokuʻōhai was fought in 1782 and is known for being Kamehamehaʻs first major victory solidifying his leadership over the island of Hawai‘i. During this battle, Kamehameha defeated Kīwalaʻō who was the last aliʻi nui of that island. The great battle took place to the south of Kealakekua Bay, presently known as Mokuʻakae. During the battle, Kīwalaʻō was knocked out by a stone that was slinged and was eventually killed by a shark-tooth dagger.

After this battle, Kamehameha I captured Kīwalaʻōʻs red feather cloak which is now held at the Bishop Museum. Kamehameha began to control Hawai‘i Island soon conquering Keōua, Kīwalaʻōʻs half brother, who had controlled Kaʻū. It is said that Kamehameha forced Keōuaʻs party to have their footprints frozen into volcanic ash! From then on, Kamehameha went on to conquering and uniting the Hawaiian islands, but not without fighting many more battles to follow Mokuʻōhai.

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