Nāhiʻenaʻena: Sacred Daughter of Hawaiʻi
Softcover, 224 pages
Princess Nahiʻenaʻena was a child of Kamehameha Nui, his only sacred daughter by his wife Keopuolani, herself, a lineal descendant of the great Maui chiefs and the highest ranking woman of her time. As such, Nahiʻenaʻena and her two brothers, Liholiho (Kamehameha II) and Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III) actually out-ranked their father. So sacred were these offspring, the Great Warrior would lie on his back and allow these keiki to sit on his chest in a sign of subservience and acknowledgement of their superior status. And thus, Nahiʻenaʻena was born into the world of the past; a past borne from a proud and sophisticated tradition that had existed for nearly a millennium, and thrust into a time of rapid and inexorable change, brought upon by the encroachment of Western culture and influence.
Though she lived in the early nineteenth century, Nahiʻenaʻena is in many ways, a prototype for those peoples of today who passionately want to preserve their ethnic identity; their dignity and genius. Her life is prophetic of the anguish and the struggle of such people and although she herself went down in defeat, a victim of the collision of two cultures, her story nonetheless, provides a hope to those who have come after for a future that accommodates change as they themselves, continue to acknowledge and embrace the past.