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Unearthing the Polynesian PastExplorations and Adventures of an Island Archaeologist$
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Patrick Vinton Kirch

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824853457

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824853457.001.0001

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Kekaulike’s Kingdom (Kaupō, Maui, 2003–2013)

Kekaulike’s Kingdom (Kaupō, Maui, 2003–2013)

(p.317) Chapter Twenty-Three Kekaulike’s Kingdom (Kaupō, Maui, 2003–2013)
Unearthing the Polynesian Past

Patrick Vinton Kirch

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter first delves into excavations at Nu‘u Bay in Kaupō, before reflecting on the author's book, How Chiefs Became Kings (2010). Kaupō, today a sleepy ranching community, was one of twelve districts (moku) of Maui's ancient kingdom. Around A.D. 1710, almost seven decades before British captain James Cook broke the sea barrier that had isolated the Hawaiian archipelago from the rest of the world, Kaupō was the royal seat of King Kekaulike. Revered to this day by Hawaiians on Maui, Kekaulike was a descendant of the great Pi‘ilani, who first unified the island kingdom around A.D. 1570. A survey on Kekaulike's life paves the way for reflections on the shift from complex chiefdom to archaic state in Hawaiian society, which is explored in the book, How Chiefs Became Kings.

Keywords:   Nu‘u, Kaupō, Maui, chiefdoms, archaic states, How Chiefs Became Kings, King Kekaulike

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