It’s true! Princess Miriam Likelike gave the tiny plot at Kealakekua Bay to the British consul in memory of Captain James Cook. Hula Kai viewing the Captain Cook Monument
The British established the Captain Cook monument in memory of the site where Cook was killed.
Kealakekua Bay is traditionally a sacred site for the ancient Hawaiians. The name translates to “the pathway of the God,” where it was said the Hawaiian fertility god, Lono-i-ka-makahiki, lived.
When Captain Cook made his second landing in Hawaii, he arrived at a very sacred place during a very sacred time. At the time of his arrival, the Hawaiian people were celebrating the makahiki festival, an annual joyful tribute to Lono-i-ka-makahiki.
One of the symbols of Lono-i-ka-makahiki was white kapa banners flown on crossbars. This symbol resembled the sails and mast of Captain Cook’s ships. Captain Cook’s officers estimated 2,500 to 3,500 canoes and more than 10,000 people were there to meet the god Lono-i-ka-makahiki …Captain Cook.
The Hawaiians treated Cook like a god, lavishing him with gifts and hosting opulent and sacred ceremonies in his honor. In return, Cook gave tours of his ships and presented his Hawaiian host with a flute and violin concert, and a display of fireworks that both fascinated and terrified the Hawaiians.
After two weeks of festivities Cook left Kealakekua Bay, and encountered a fierce winter storm on his search for a Northwest passage. He returned to Kealakekua Bay to repair the vessels, but found the bay nearly deserted. The makahiki festival was finished and a kapu was put on the bay.
The natives who remained did not understand how such a great god could have sustained such damage in his own domain. Their respect for Cook diminished, and wanting coveted metals in exchange for all of the supplies the Hawaiians had given the English sailors, the Hawaiians helped themselves to metals and the Discovery’s cutter. Cook took a party of nine marines and went ashore to take Chief Kalaniopuu hostage until the cutter was returned. However, for various reasons the plan failed and Captain Cook and four marines died in a skirmish near the monument’s location on Feb. 14, 1779.