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The original ʻahu ʻula and mahiole of Kalaniʻōpuʻu that was given to Captain James Cook as a gift in 1779 and now on display at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu Hawaii
Aliʻi Nui of Kaʻū
Aliʻi Aimoku of Hawaiʻi
Personal details
Born c. 1729
Died April 1782 (aged 52–53)
Kāʻilikiʻi, WaioʻahukiniKaʻū
Spouse(s) Kalola Pupuka-o-Honokawailani

Kalaniʻōpuʻu-a-Kaiamamao (c. 1729 – April 1782) was the aliʻi nui (supreme monarch) of the island of Hawaiʻi. He was called Terreeoboo, King of Owhyhee by James Cook and other Europeans. His name has also been written as Kaleiopuu.


Kalaniʻōpuʻu was the son of Kalaninuiamamao (k) and his wife Kamākaʻimoku (w), a high ranking aliʻi wahine (female of hereditary nobility) who was also the mother of Keōua (k) with another husband named Kalanikeʻeaumoku (k). This made her the grandmother of Kamehameha I.[2] During his reign, Alapainui had kept the two young princes, Kalaniʻōpuʻu and Keōua, close to him out of either kindness or politics.[2][3] Kalaniʻōpuʻu-a-Kaiamamao was the king of the island during the times Captain James Cook came to Hawaiʻi and went aboard his ship on 26 November 1778.[4] After Cook anchored at Kealakekua Bay in January 1779, Kalaniʻōpuʻu-a-Kaiamamao paid a ceremonial visit on 26 January 1779 and exchanged gifts including a ʻahuʻula (feathered cloak)[5] and mahiole (ceremonial helmet),[6] since it was during the Makahiki season. Cook's ships returned on 11 February to repair storm damage. This time relations were not as good, resulting in a violent struggle when Cook tried to take Kalaniʻōpuʻu hostage after the theft of a longboat, which led to Cook's death.

Kalaniʻōpuʻu-a-Kaiamamao died at Kāʻilikiʻi, Waioʻahukini, Kaʻū, in April 1782. He was succeeded by his son, Kīwalaʻō, as king of Hawaiʻi island; and his nephew, Kamehameha I, who was given guardianship of Kū-ka-ili-moku, the god of war. His nephew would eventually overthrow his son at the battle of Mokuʻōhai. The island of Hawaiʻi was then effectively divided into three parts: his nephew Kamehameha ruled the western districts, his younger son Keōua Kuahuula controlled Kaʻū, and his brother Keawemauhili controlled Hilo.

Template:Kalaniʻōpuʻu, Kamehameha, Kānekapōlei and Peleuli family tree

A feathered cloak associated with Kalaniʻōpuʻu, on display at the de Young Museum in San Francisco


Preceded by
Alii Kaiʻinamao Kalani-nui-i-a-mamao, 1st Aliʻi of Kau
Aliʻi of Kaʻū
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ruler of Hawaiʻi Island
Succeeded by

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