Ahuula and priceless treasures gone up in smoke, 1901.


This Possession Belonged to Keaumoku.

S. L. Peleiholani claims $500 in damages
for this Feather Cloak.

Before the fire inspection Commissioner, seen was the relationship of S. L. Peleiholani to Kamehameha I, the conqueror of the nation [Ka Naʻi Aupuni], and also seen was the destruction of a very valuable ahuula in the bubonic fire. Peleiholani claimed $500 damages for this ahuula, and he said that he was urged to sell the ahuula for $1,000, which he absolutely refused to do. This is an ahuula that was cared for by his grandparents on down to him, and for this reason, he refused money which kept appearing before him until the cloak was consumed by fire.

Peleioholani added a claim of $2,140.05, and the majority of the assets were inherited from his kupuna. He is the child of Peleiholani and Pukeau. His grandfather was a child of Kalanuilumoku [Kalaniulumoku], a grandchild of Kamehameha I. His grandfather married Kahana, a daughter of Keaumoku, the one to whom belonged this ahuula. This Keaumoku was a high chief, and an minister [kuhina] of Kamehameha I, and he received may greatly valuable gifts from the conqueror of the nation. Peleiholani cared for this ahuula for a long time, and showed it to the many people who came before him to buy this cloak. The sum of money desired to offer him reached a thousand, and some ministers of Kalakaua came before him wanting the ahuula for the King. He refused all of these urging, and said to them that there was no way money could buy this ahuula while he was alive. Some men came from the alii Kalakaua bringing wine and money and put it at his side, intending to get him to drink until drunk when he would agree to giving this ahuula to the alii, however they left without.

There is but one other ahuula like it, and that is the ahuula cared for in the Kamehameha Museum [Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum]. When people ask for the actual monetary value of that ahuula, they say Peleiholani’s claim is right, but the actual truth is that the true value of this ahuula reaches $2,000. Mrs. Mary Ailau was a witness called to testify as to the truth of the claim, and according to her testimony, it was correct; and she went before this man many a time and urged him to sell to her this ahuula for $500 and her request was refused. She felt that the true value of the ahuula reached all the way to two thousand dollars. When she was asked if the ahuula was auctioned off, how much would she offer, Mrs. Ailau answered that she would bid as much as one thousand dollars, and if she had a lot of money, she would bid up to two thousand dollars for this ahuula.

In this claim by Peleiholani, it is seen the great amount of valuable antiquities he was caring for and that was destroyed in the bubonic fires. If these treasures were not burned in the fire, and they were bought off of him, he would have gained a large amount of money. This is an example to we Hawaiians, showing the great value of some antiquities which we are just selling off or discarding. Take care of them and find out their value before throwing them away.

[I am guessing not only were there priceless objects in Peleioholani’s collection, but also manuscripts, as he is well known for his writings!]

(Kuokoa, 10/18/1901, p. 6)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XXXIX, Helu 16, Aoao 6. Okatoba 18, 1901.

2 thoughts on “Ahuula and priceless treasures gone up in smoke, 1901.

  1. Pingback: Peleioholani’s home is destroyed by fire, 1901. | nupepa

  2. Pingback: Keeaumoku ahuula destroyed in Peleioholani house fire, 1901. | nupepa

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