homepage logo

Descendants to beautify Kale Kaniaulono Davis’ grave site

By Staff | Mar 21, 2013

Descendants Kalele Mahoe and her daughters, Nalani and Sarah Kaniaulono, stand at the grave of Sarah Kaniaulono Davis (1797-1867).

KAPALUA – Descendants of Kale Kaniaulono Davis will assemble to pay tribute to their kupuna and malama her grave on Saturday, March 30, as part of the 21st annual Celebration of the Arts cultural festival at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.

All family members are invited to join in the tribute.

Seven generations ago, before plantation days, Kapalua’s land district of Honokahua was under the stewardship of Kale Kaniaulono, daughter of Isaac Davis, King Kamehameha’s gunner at the Kepaniwai battle in his conquest of Maui.

Kaniaulono’s mother was Nakai Nalima’alu’alu, descended from Kihapi’ilani, who built the Alaloa road around Maui. She died in 1867.

For 150 years, the Davis family grave was preserved by Maui Land and Pineapple Company, set off in a pineapple field by a white rail fence and marked with one papaya tree.

The grave itself was reserved from sale by the family in 1894, and it remains the property of Davis family descendants.

Sarah Davis (also Sally Adams) was called Kale, and her Hawaiian name was Kaniaulono. She married James Kanehoa Young, Captain Alexander Adams, Pahaaikaua, Kanekuapu’u, and Kaholokahiki.

She had six children: Isaac Adams of Niu, ‘Uwaikikilani Halstead of Maui, Amelia Nakai Davis of Waikoloa, Mele Kuamo’o of Lahaina, Fanny and James Kanehoa Young Davis of Honokahua.

The Adams family of Oahu descends from Kale, as does the Davis family of West Hawaii. On Maui, descendants of this ali’i wahine include the Mahoe family of Lahaina, Kaeo and Davis families of Molokai, and the Wilcox family of Waihee.

This malama project includes installing a new fence, weeding and adding native plantings. The work is expected to take three hours. Protocol at the grave begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Transportation to and from The Ritz-Carlton Bell Desk will be provided on the hour at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon, with returns at 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 and 1:15 p.m. Attendees of the Celebration of the Arts (see article on page 18) will be allowed to observe this Hawaiian cultural practice of caring for the kupuna.

Kama’ema’e Smith’s historical novel revealed Kaniaulono to many of her descendants and the reality of their heritage. Cultural editor of the book was a lineal descendant, Aloha Keko’olani, who, with her brother, Dean Pua Keko’olani, traced Nakai’s line back to King Pi’ilani and further.

In 2006, Clifford Nae’ole, cultural director at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, and Caroline Belsom, attorney-at-law and lineal descendant, initiated registration of the grave with Maui Island Burial Council.

Family members who wish to participate or observe should call Nae’ole at 665-7084 for information.