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date: 24 October 2019

Keaulumoku locked

  • Paula J. Bishop

Extract

(b Kohala, Hawaii, 1716; d Kauhola, Hawaii, 1784). Hawaiian poet and chanter. He served as a poet to several Hawaiian chiefs, including Kalani’opu’u, chief of the leeward side of the island of Hawaii. During a period of unrest and rivalry among island chiefs, Keaulomuku was able to travel among the warring factions because of his reputation as a gifted and important composer of chants. He was fluent in many forms of chant, including genealogical, war, praise, and love chants, but achieved much of his fame for his prophetic chants, particularly those involving the warrior Kamehameha. The chant “Haui Ka Lani,” probably composed in 1782, describes the civil war among the chiefs and islands and foretells of Kamehameha’s victory over the warring factions. In “Au’a ‘Ia,” composed shortly before his death in 1784, Keaulumoku predicts Kamehameha’s conquest and unification of the islands, but he also foretells of the early decline of the dynasty and the gradual extinction of the Hawaiian people....

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