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Keaunui (Hawaiian for "Keau the Great") was a High Chief of ʻEwa, Waiʻanae and Waialua in ancient Hawaii. [1] He was a member of the Nanaulu line and is also known as Keaunui-a-Maweke. [2]

His mother was High Chiefess Naiolaukea, also known as Naiolakea. [3] (In ancient Hawaii, it was common for nobles to have many names.)

His father was a high chief and “wizard” called Maweke, an Aliʻi of "the blue blood". [4]

He had brothers named Mulielealiʻi and Kalehenui. [5]

Keaunui married a woman named Wehelani (Hawaiian: lani = " sky"), and their children were:

Keaunui had a granddaughter, Chiefess Kapau-a-Nuʻakea of Molokai.

Keaunui is traditionally credited with opening a navigable channel at Pearl Harbor. [8]


  1. ^ Patrick Vinton Kirch. A Shark Going Inland Is My Chief: The Island Civilization of Ancient Hawai'i; p. 118.
  2. ^ Memoirs of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum of Polynesian Ethnology and Natural History (1920).
  3. ^ Kamakau, Samuel M., Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii (Revised Edition), Appendix Genealogies (Kamehameha Schools Press, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1961).
  4. ^ "Family of Maweke". Archived from the original on 2016-08-27. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  5. ^ Patrick Vinton Kirch (2010). How Chiefs Became Kings: Divine Kingship and the Rise of Archaic States in Ancient Hawai'i.
  6. ^ Kalākaua, His Hawaiian Majesty. The Legends And Myths of Hawaii: The Fable and Folk-lore of a Strange People. Tokyo, Japan: Charles E. Tuttle Company Inc. of Rutland, Vermont & Tokyo Japan, 1972.
  7. ^ Native Planters in Old Hawaii: their life, lore, and environment; by Edward Smith Craighill Handy; Elizabeth Green Handy; Mary Kawena Pukui. Honolulu, 1972
  8. ^ Annual Report of the Hawaiian Historical Society. Hawaiian Historical Society, 1932.