The Hawaii of old was an organized into a social structure including chiefs, priests, skilled laborers and commoners. Strict laws existed for each of the separate divisions
The Royal Grounds adjacent to the pu'uhonua were a favored residence of Hawaiian chiefs. Hale-o-Keawe acted as the royal mausoleum and held the remains of 23 chiefs. The mana (spiritual power) of the remains bestowed sanctity upon this sacred area. This temple was constructed in honor of Keawe'ikekahiali'i o kamoku, the great-grandfather of Kamehameha I.
Did You Know?
Did you know that the area east of the Keone'ele Cove known as Kauwalomālie was the location of a historic and fateful meeting, in 1782, between Kamehameha and his cousin Kīwala‘ō? At the time, Kīwala'ō was the ruling heir to the kingdom following the death of his father Kalani'ōpu‘u. According to traditional accounts, it was during an awa ceremony when Kīwala'ō passed the awa prepared by Kamehameha to one of his favorite chiefs, instead of honoring Kamehameha with the first drink. This event set the stage for the power struggle that ensued between them.