Akshun Apparel

As a young warrior Kamehameha was paddling a war canoe with his men near the shoreline in Puna.

They came upon some commoners fishing on a beach and attacked them. All escaped, except for two men who stayed behind to defend a man carrying a child on his back.

During the struggle, the young chief's foot had gotten caught in the lava rock and one of the fishermen struck Kamehameha on the head with a paddle.

Twelve years later, the same fisherman was brought before Kamehameha for punishment. King Kamehameha instead blamed himself for attacking innocent people, gave the fisherman gifts of land and set him free.

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Kānāwai Māmalahoe

The Kingdom of Hawai'i's first written law

Law of the Splintered Paddle

The complete original 1797 law

E nā kānaka,

E mālama ‘oukou i ke akua

A e mālama ho‘i ke kanaka nui a me kanaka iki;

E hele ka ‘elemakule, ka luahine, a me ke kama

A moe i ke ala

‘A‘ohe mea nāna e ho‘opilikia.

Hewa nō, make.

Kamehameha I


O my people,
Honor thy god
Respect alike [the rights of] men great and humble;
See to it that our aged, our women, and our children
Lie down to sleep by the roadside
Without fear of harm.
Disobey, and die.

Kamehameha I