As I sit here looking out my office window it’s a balmy 21 degrees with a wind chill of 10 degrees and all that I can see is white. The temperatures are an improvement over the minus 6 degrees wind chill of yesterday but it’s still cold. With over seven inches of snow on the ground, snowdrifts more than four feet tall and more snow falling I am contemplating having a cocktail and putting another log on the fire or getting on a plane to Hawaii.
This is the annual “I wish I was someplace else right now” article. Where else would I want to be? That plane to Hawaii sounds very tempting!! Warm beaches, tropical drinks and women in bikinis, throw in some treasure to look for and I’m in heaven!
If you find yourself in the Hawaiian Islands and are tired of soaking up the sun then you could try to find the burial place of King Kamehameha the Great. (pronounced Ka-may-ha-may-ha) The man who established the Kingdom of Hawaii and ruled it until 1819.
The King was known as the Napoleon of the Pacific because of his rule over Hawaii and the fact that except for a period of just a few years during his rule that the British were there, the islands were always the Kingdom of Hawaii.
This is one of those treasures that if you go looking for it and you find it you could become famous and rich or end up in jail and court from the different lawsuits that would undoubtedly be filed. The Hawaiians would consider the opening of the burial place “kapu” or against Hawaiian law. Since Hawaii has gone to great lengths over the years to find their most famous royal artifacts that disappeared when Hawaii became a state I don’t think they would want someone walking off with the artifacts that were buried with the King that united the islands. This doesn't mean it would be a bad thing to find the burial spot, it just means you would want to have your ducks in a row when you did.
When King Kamehameha died on May 8th, 1819 in Kailua, Kona some of his trusted friends took his body and buried it without telling anyone where they took it. Hawaiian religion considers a person’s “mana” or power of a person to be sacred and since the King was the most powerful person in Hawaii at the time they did not want anyone disturbing his mana. Along with the King’s mana there is said to be a large treasure of diamonds, pearls and jewels. The king was buried with his warrior robes which were adorned with the feathers from what are now extinct birds. The feathers, if they are still feathers, could be extremely valuable.
Just where would you start looking for the burial chamber of King Kamehameha? Some legends say that the King was buried on Kauai along the Na Pali coast. Na Pali is approximately 15 miles of coast line mostly made up of sheer cliffs. The word Na Pali literally means “the cliffs”. Most of this coast line is inaccessible due to the sheer cliffs so if the King is along this shore line there aren’t very many places he could be.
Others say the King was buried in a live volcano, which would take some really dedicated friends in my opinion and there is yet another story that says the burial location is in Kailua, Kona.
Back in 2005 there was a man perusing some old survey maps and came across one dated 1819. On this map was a spot marked as “Tamehamehas Tomb”. The spot where the tomb is marked is on Thurston Point in Kailua Bay in Kailua, Kona. This should serve as a reminder that you never know what you will find when you are looking at old documents.
Now for the bad news, even though there may be a map that actually shows the location of the tomb it appears that part or all of the tomb may have unknowingly been destroyed in the 1950’s.
Back in the 1950’s the land owner created a channel from the ocean to a spot, which on some survey maps show “royal fishponds”, to create a lagoon. During this process the King’s tomb may have been destroyed, or maybe not!
No one reported finding anything back in the 1950’s such as jewels or other artifacts when the digging was taking place so maybe, if the old survey map is right, the King’s tomb still lies buried on this property completely undisturbed. There is also the possibility that the King is buried someplace completely different.
Of course you could always go poking around the live volcano, I’m sure there’s absolutely nothing dangerous at all about that!