Amazing story about the capes given by Kalaniopuu to Cook, 1908.

The Ahuula Garments of Kalaniopuu!

Given by the Chief to Captain Cook!

It is understood in Hawaii’s ancient history, before Captain Cook [Kapena Kuke] left Hawaii, on the 3rd of February, 1779, King Kalaniopuu gave a gift to Captain Cook some Ahuula and Ahu Mamo and feather mahiole headgear of Hawaii. After the ships of Captain Cook left Hawaii Island shortly after the death of that British Captain, the ships went and landed at Kamchatka, on the eastern shores of Siberia.

 And there, the boxes in which these chiefly treasures of Hawaii were placed were let down and totally forgotten. And as a result of a lucky accident, these boxes were carried without the knowledge of what the contents were to the royal city of Saint Petersburg, Russia and left in a dark and damp [kawakawau] room in a warehouse in the city.

Since then, as a result of a lucky accident [another!], the boxes were found and these precious treasures were discovered; and it was cared for in a Museum there. A high-ranking teacher from Saint Petersburg named Prof. Sirathonesky [Sviatlovsky] was the one who revealed this history while he was here in Hawaii. This Russian haole said that the ahuula are still whole. These Hawaiian royal gifts were sold by the British ship officers who sailed from Hawaii after the death of Captain Cook, and were kept in the hands of the government of Russia; and as a result of the sale by those British men to the officials of Russia at Eastern Siberia, they received food and other goods from the Russians.

It is said that The Russian  government agreed to swap one of these ahuula and ahu mamo with the museum of Mrs. Pauahi Bishop for some ancient treasures within that museum. And should this work out, then some of the ahu manu of King Kalaniopuu to Hawaii nei after the passing of 129 years.

[We often hear the term “ahuula,” or “ahu ula,” but notice here the use of the less common “ahu manu” (like Kaahumanu) and “ahu mamo”!]

(Kuokoa Home Rula, 2/28/1908, p. 2)

Na Kapa Ahu-ula a Kalaniopuu!

Kuokoa Home Rula, Buke VI, Helu 9, Aoao 2. Feberuari 28, 1908.

4 thoughts on “Amazing story about the capes given by Kalaniopuu to Cook, 1908.

  1. Pingback: Kalaniopuu’s ahuula and mahiole that he placed on Cook, 1779 / 2016. | nupepa

  2. Hoihoi nō ia mau ʻatikala! No laila ʻo ka ʻahu ʻula i mālamaʻia me ka hoʻomaopopo ʻole ma St. Petersburg, Russia, he ahuʻula ʻē aʻe. ʻAʻole like ia ʻahuʻula o Kalaniʻōpuʻu me kā e kaulana nei a e hōʻike mai nei ma ka Hale Bīhopa, ʻaʻole anei?


  3. Fascinating. I wonder which mahiole and ʻahu ʻula in the Bishop collections are the ones from this news story. Are they, perhaps, by chance, the same ones temporarily on display at LACMA right now?


  4. Pingback: Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Nā Hulu Aliʻi | 上り口説 Nubui Kuduchi

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