More on the death of Keanu, 1902.


Shortly after 8 o’clock yesterday morning the body of Keanu, a high chiefess and reputed daughter of Kamehameha V, was found upon the beach at Waikiki, opposite the premises of the late Queen Dowager Kapiolani, now occupied by Princes David and Cupid. The woman had probably been dead about an hour when discovered, and her death is believed to have been due to apoplexy. She was well when she left the Dowager’s premises early in the morning. She wen across the roadway to the bathing beach, donned a muumuu and entered the water for a swim. Just how soon she was overcome is not known, but it is evident that she was upon the beach when the attack came. The fact which led to the belief of apoplexy was that the face was much discolored. There is nothing pointing to foul play and it is not believed that she was drowned.

A jury was empanelled yesterday morning and the body viewed at the morgue. An inquest was to have been held last night at the police station but was postponed until this afternoon.

Keanu was a woman of imposing appearance and always commanded the attention and respect of Hawaiians wherever she went. She had the manner and dignity of a chiefess of the royal blood and was looked upon by the natives generally as one to whom homage was due. She was a great friend of the late Princess Ruth and in later years was much with the late Queen Dowager. She has been residing on the premises at Pualeilani for several years and was protected by the two Princes, as well as by the Dowager before them. For some time past she had not been right in her mind. Several years ago her husband went away into the mountains and nothing more was heard of him. She leaves several children.

At the breakfast and reception given by Queen Liliuokalani last year Keanu was among those who called and her appearance was much commented on at that time, for, believing herself fully entitled to respect and homage, she swept majestically along amongst the throng as if she were a reigning queen.

(Hawaiian Gazette, 7/1/1902, p. 4)


Hawaiian Gazette, Volume XXXVII, Number 50, Page 4. July 1, 1902.

Keanu, daughter of Kamehameha V and Keelikolani, passes, 1902.

That Royal Descendant of the Land has Passed.


Right after 8 o’clock in the morning of Monday, June 30, the dead body of Keanu (f.) was found out near the residence of the Princes Kawananakoa and Kalanianaole at Waikiki. On that morning she was seen coming out of the Princes’ place, and went all the way to the ocean. There she put on her muumuu and went into the ocean. From here, that was all that was known of her until her body was found. It is believed that she had a stroke [ma’i huki] while in the water, and while being so afflicted, she could not help herself.

Keanu was a chiefess, the daughter of Kamehameha V and Princess Ruth Keelikolani [Ruta], and it was he who housed her at Pualeilani, Waikiki, and it was there that she lived until this unfortunate accident.

She had a regal stature, and she became an important presence in our chiefly circles. She fearlessly appeared at royal audiences with elegance, and some who had not seen her before thought she was an actual queen.

Some time ago, her husband went into the mountains, and since then nothing was known of him. Keanu lived in sadness, and it was this that made her lose her senses. She left behind children who grieve in their love for her. How pitiful.

[Anyone have more information on Keanu?]

(Kuokoa, 7/4/1902, p. 1)

Hala ia Pua Alii o ka Aina

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XL, Helu 27, Aoao 1. Iulai 4, 1902.