King Kamehameha the Great Statue


About King Kamehameha the Great Statue


Although the King Kamehameha the Great Statue isnt an exact representation of how Kamehameha I lookedthe sculptor gave him Roman-like facial features instead of Polynesianthe statue remains one of Oahu’s most popular things to see.

At 8 1/2 feet tall, King Kamehameha holds a spear in his left hand to represent the kingdoms will to keep harm at bay. His right hand is extended as a warm gesture of aloha. Located in front of the Aliiolani Hale, the statue is one of many sacred structures located in historic Downtown Honolulu. Nearby is the Iolani Palace and Kawaiahao Church, so spend some time walking around the area!


In 1878 Walter M. Gibson, a member of the Hawaiian government, sought to commemorate the 100 year arrival of Captain Cook to the Hawaiian Islands. Gibson commissioned a Boston sculptor, Thomas R. Gould, who was living in Italy at the time. In 1880, the initial sculpture was sent to Paris, France to be cast in bronze. In 1883 during transit to Hawaii, the cargo ship wrecked and the statue was lost near the Falkland Islands. A replica was immediately created, but the original was recovered, so Hawaii had two statues!

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Oahu
  • Duration: Depending on traffic and parking availability, your guide may stop for about 5 minutes at this location.
  • Insider Tip: On June 11, or Kamehameha Day, dozens of hand-crafted leis are draped ceremoniously over the statue.
  • What to Expect: Picture opportunities and the Ali'Iolani Hale and Iolani Palace in near sight.
  • Pop Culture: The title credits of the original and current Hawaii 5-0 TV series features a shot of the statue.
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