Although the King Kamehameha the Great Statue
isn’t an exact representation of how Kamehameha I looked—the sculptor gave him Roman-like facial features instead of Polynesian—the 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 kingdom’s will to keep harm at bay. His right hand is extended as a warm gesture of aloha. Located in front of the Ali’iolani 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!