Passing of Samuel Kamakea Kamakaia, 1919.


Samuel K. Kamakaia.

To the Editor of the Kuokoa Newspaper, Much aloha to you:—Please place in one of your open columns of the speedy messenger of the emotional and dreadful story below of my dear husband, my companion, partner who I talked to, and the one I faced the hardships of this life, who left me and his great many friends and intimates; so that his friends and many intimates from the wind-facing promontory that gazes at the rain blown upon the sea at Kumukahi all the way to where the sun sinks at the base of Lehua, that Samuel Kamakea Kamakaia has passed on to the path to the back of Kane, and you will no more see his features, you will no more hear his voice, he sleeps the eternal sleep, and it is for him that I mourn with tears and regret not to be pacified, while I remember his words that I cannot forget:

Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!

He was born in Waiakea, Hilo, Hawaii, on the 17th of September 1853, on the night of Lono, from the loins of Elizabeth Kahuakainui Kanihomauole [Elikapeka Kahuakainui Kanihomauole], his birth mother, and Kamakea Kamakaia, he birth father. In his story that he told me, Kaawalaulena was his grandmother from Kau, Hawaii, and Kanihomauole was his grandfather from Kona, and from the two of them came Kahuakainui Kanihomauole, his mother, and she lived with Kamakea Kamakaia, a man from Molokai; with Kahuakai Kanihomauole, they had him and his older brother; the two of them were the only ones gotten from their parents, and his elder sibling passed on to the other side a great many years ago.

When he was a tiny baby, he was brought by his hanai parents to here on Oahu because of a command by Liholiho, Kamehameha IV, and they lived at Apua, and when he was old enough, he attended the Chiefs School at Kahehuna, and he was educated at that school until he graduated at he joined the military during time of Liholiho. When he was sixteen years old, he joined the band, and he kept at this occupation while putting it aside for but a few years, and just two or so years ago he retired from that job, but while he was a with the king’s band, he served as a teacher of the band for some time during the time when Kalakaua was king, and during that time, he was given an honorable medal along with a few other people. He was very skilled at playing wind instruments, and the multitudes of town are actual witnesses to this.

Lydia Piikoi [Lidia Piikoi] was his first wife and they lived together for a number of years, and after they were divorced, and Kamakaia remarried Mrs. Ipuhao Kalua. They lived together for some years, and they were divorced for some reason, and after that separation, he remarried me, on the 28th of July 1905, and it was Sam Kaloa who joined the two of us in the pure bonds of marriage, and I was together with him when death loosened this loving bond. Auwe my dearly beloved, my never–ending regret for him, because he was a loving father figure, he was gracious and kind, and we had no heated disagreements until he passed on without us having a child.

He suffered from swelling [ma’i pehu] for a year or so, to which Dr. Hanchett told him he had heart sickness. He was prescribed medication, but he did not prevail; but what was seen was the constant strengthening of the illness; the strength of the sickness was stronger than that of the medicine, and at the end he was taken to the Queen’s Hospital and it was there that he let out his last breath.

He was a member of the Parent Church of Kawaiahao for some years, and after that he joined the Christian Science [Hoomana Naauao] church of Rev. J. K. Maia, and he was one of the pastors who were ordained [?? leviia] in that faith until his death. Kamakaia was a man who strove to do good, he was a choir leader for the church, and perhaps some of his hymns which he skillfully composed are being kept in the Kealaula o ka Malamalama Church.

He was a Republican from as far as he knew of politics, and he remained in this party unwavering  until his passing to that side of the Black River of death. He participated in heated political fights from the beginnings of the Republic until Hawaii joined with America, and from that time until he stopped his hard work for that party because of his feebleness.

Kamakaia has gone to rest without producing offspring to fill his void, he only has a niece [kaikamahine hanauna] remaining, Mrs. Kalanikiekie Henriques, and because this niece has aloha for this makua of hers, she took upon herself all the expenses of the funeral and the concealing of the remains of her makuakane.

I will no more see the features of hear the voice of Kamakaia, because he has gone; his body lies in the grave his niece, Mrs. Kalanikiekie Henriques, made ready for him at the Puea cemetery in Kalihi, but loving remembrances for him are not ended, love is like a spring that constantly gushes forth its package of aloha, tears; but he ultimately was taken away, for man is wilted grass, and that is the destiny of all who are living. Glory to God in the highest heavens, for to Him belongs the body and the soul, to Him belongs all things, to Him belongs the power to heal and to Him belongs the power to kill, there is no one that can escape from His hands.

As I conclude this important explanation about my dearly beloved, Samuel Kamakea Kamakaia, I give my thanks to all those who grieved with me; my Kalama Society [Ahahui Kalama], the organization who joined in my mourning and who helped me in my time of no husband, and to all the friends and intimates who lamented with me in my hour of sadness, and the very last, I give my thanks to the Editor of the Kuokoa and his helpers in the press.

The two of us, in sadness,


Honolulu, July 29, 1919.

[The composer of the song widely known today as “Ka Naʻi Aupuni.” Hawaiian newspapers have much information to tell us. See here a copy of the song published in the Aloha Aina newspaper in 1897, and here, a modern post, claiming that the mele was composed in 1906 by William Kahino.]

(Kuokoa, 8/1/1919, p. 4)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LVII, Helu 31, Aoao 4. Augate 1, 1919.


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