Queen Kalama

#144 in the Moʻolelo series

Kalama is probably the Queen about whom the least is known by the general public. Described by some as “forward thinking” and “land-savvy,” Kalama was a somewhat unusual choice of Queen for Kamehameha III, after the death of Princess Nahienaena. Kamamaluula News describes the match:

Theirs was no arranged or approved union. Many chiefs and H.M. Queen Kaahumanu disapproved our king’s choice, according to missionary Hiram Bingham, “to one much below his rank, which it was apprehended might disturb the succession” of the king’s line.

Queen Kalama Hakaleleponi, 1817-1870 (source: wikimedia commons)

The Kamehameha blog site Ka Ulu Aloha notes:

The name Kalama may be translated as ʻtorch,’ or ʻlight,’ or ‘lamp.’ Kalama was also called Hakaleleponi or Kapahuhaili. On February 17, 1837 Kalama married Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli or Kaleiopapa). Their son, Keaweaweʻulaokalani, had Miriam Kekāuuluohi as a guardian or kahu hānai. After this child died, Kamehameah III and Kalama adopted Alexander Liholiho, who became their heir apparent.

Queen Kalama was awarded a number of tracts of land in the Great Mahele. Among the best known were Kailua, Kāneʻohe and Hakipuʻu on windward Oʻahu.” 

Ka Ulu Aloha, blogs.ksbe.edu

As the owner of much of Kailua, the Kalama Beach Club recounts that:

Kalama Beach Club got its name from Queen Kalama (Kalama Hakaleleponi Kapakuhaili: 1817–1870), the Queen consort of King Kamehameha III (1814-1854).  She owned a great portion of Kailua.


Kalama lived from 1817 until 1870, surviving her husband Kauikeaouli by 16 years. Below is a somewhat surprising picture, in which she is holding the infant Albert Kūnuiakea, Kauikeaouli’s son by Jane Lahilahi Young.

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