Althea Kaohi with a 3-foot maquette that will be used to develop a life- size statue of King Kaumuali‘i. - Photo: Chris Cook

The Friends of King Kaumualiʻi are redoubling their efforts to bring honor and recognition to King Kaumualiʻi, the last independent ruler of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau.

Their goal is to erect a life-size statue of Kaumualiʻi at Paʻulaʻula, once the compound of the king, now more familiarly known as the Russian Fort Elizabeth. Kaumualiʻi’s love for his people is ranked as the most significant aspect of his life. Because of that love, which endeared him to his people, the Friends believe King Kaumualiʻi deserves to be memorialized with a statue.

Internationally-renowned artist and sculptor Saim Caglayan, a resident of Kīlauea, Kauaʻi, was contracted to create the statue. To date, a maquette – a 3-foot preliminary model from which a lifesize statue will be developed – has been completed and displayed at the West Kauaʻi Visitor Center in Waimea. At a foundry in California, the sizing process is underway.

America memorializes its heroes with statues, as seen in the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials and Statuary Hall of the Congress. We should memorialize ours in similar fashion. Kaumualiʻi’s genealogical connection to the gods was greater than Kamehameha’s. In fact, the ruling families of Kauaʻi were the purest blue bloods of Hawaiian aristocracy. Kaumualiʻi’s reign was a kind one, exemplified by his grave concern for his people. He gave up his dominion as the absolute ruler to save his people from the horrors of a war that he could not win. Let us remember and honor him for that.

The Friends are engaged in raising the $150,000 needed to complete the project. The Friends is a 501c(3) organization; contributions are tax deductible. Contributions may be made online or by mail.

Mail: Friends of King Kaumualiʻi
P.O. Box 509
Waimea, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi 96796

For more information call Aletha Kaohi at (808)977-8991 or email