Ka`ahumanu - Words & music by Helen Desha Beamer


Lei Ka`ahumanu i ke aloha
Lei ha`aheo i ka lanakila
Lei i ka mamo hulu melemele
Lei Hawai`i i kou inoa

E ola e ka `Î a me ka Mahi
E ala nâ kini o ka `âina
Ho`okahi pu`uwai me ka lokahi
I ola ka inoa
`O Ka`ahumanu

Eia kô lei a e lei ai
Na ke aloha i lawe mai nei
I lei ho`oheno mau ia nou
I ola ka inoa o Ka`ahumanu

Ka`ahumanu is wreathed in love
Pride`s wreath in victory
Lei of yellow mamo feathers
Hawai`i's crown, your name

Long live the `Î and the Mahi
Arise, kinsmen of the land
One heart in unity
To perpetuate the name
Of Ka`ahumanu

Here is your lei to wear
By love brought here
To express of continuing affection for you
The perpetuate the name of Ka`ahumanu

Source: Songs of Helen Desha Beamer Copyright Charles E.King,1943 - Mrs. Beamer composed this song for `Ahahui Ka`ahumanu, a benevolent society of Hawaiian women that support elderly, indigent Hawaiians. She was a charter member of the Hilo chapter and the first secretary of this organization that was founded by Princess Victoria Kamâmalu. The Princess Victoria Kamâmalu was born November 1, 1838, and named for her mother’s sister, Queen Kamâmalu, the favorite wife of Kamehameha II. Her mother was high chiefess Elisabeta Kina`u, daughter of Kamehameha Nui, widow of Kamehameha II, and half sister of Kamehameha III. Elisabeta Kina`u, died of mumps when Victoria was 5 months old and the infant princess was adopted by Kamehameha III and raised by the royal guardians, high chief John Papa I`i and his wife Sarai. Her father, high chief Matthew Kekuanaoa, governor of O`ahu, loved his daughter so much that he built her a magnificent house in 1840, on the corner of King and Richards Sts, on what is now the grounds of I`olani Palace. During the reign of Kamehameha III, the home was given to the monarchy for the royal residence. Kamehameha III named Princess Victoria to succeed her brothers Alexander Liholiho and Lot to the throne. He also appointed the princess to the office of Kuhina Nui, at the age of 16. When her brother Lot became Kamehameha V, he appointed their father, Kekuanaoa as Kuhina Nui. This position was abolished in 1864. The princess was engaged to William Lunalilo, but the union was opposed by her brothers and Lunalilo broke the engagement. High chief David Kalâkaua then proposed, but the princess refused and never married. Victoria was educated at the Chief’s Childrens School and was groomed for the throne at an early age. She supported educational and religious works, was a devout member of Kawaiha`o Church and a lifetime member of the Ka`ahumanu Society. A good pianist, accomplished hula dancer, talented chanter, and skilled poet, her forte was mele kuauhau, chants that record historical events. Missionary teaching was a powerful influence in her youth and she was torn between western ideas and Hawaiian ways. She adapted to the westernization imposed on her, but rejected it as she grew older, and returned to what she held most dear - Hawaiian tradition and the culture of her ancestors and people. February, 1866, the princess became ill at a party in Honolulu and paralysis set in by early May. She died May 29, 1866, at age 28, the last female direct descendant of Kamehameha Nui.