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Mōʻī of Maui
Issue Lono-a-Piilani
Piʻikea, Chiefess of Maui and Hawaiʻi
Father Kawaokaohele
Religion Hawaiian religion
Coconut tree on Maui, island of Piʻilani

Piʻilani ("ascent to heaven" [1]) (born ca. 1460) ruled as Mōʻī of the island of Maui in the later part of the 15th century. At the time Maui was an independent kingdom within the islands of Hawaii.

He was the first Aliʻi to unite the island under a single line. [2] His rule was peaceful for most of his reign. His father was Kawaokaohele [3] and his mother was Kepalaoa. [4] Pilʻilani and his offspring are important in legends of Maui, in the same way that Līloa and his son ʻ Umi-a-Liloa in the legends of the island of Hawaii. [3] The two family lines of Piʻilani and Liloa were closely associated although from separate islands. ʻUmi was a supporter of Kiha-a-Piilani, Piʻilani's son, when he went to war. The lineage continued in west Hawaii and east Maui in lesser lines and in the lines of Moana Kane from Liloa and Piʻilaniwahine from Piʻilani in the couple's marriage and offspring. [5]

Piʻilani's is a descendant of Puna-i-mua. [6] His father and grandfathers came from western Maui. Under Piʻilani for the first time this family controlled the eastern side as well. [7] Piʻilani began building a roadway to encircle the entire island, the first such road in the islands. It was wide enough for eight men to walk beside each other. It was completed by his son. Some sections of Piʻilani Highway follow the old path. In places, the old stones are still visible. [8] After Piʻilani's death the line of succession became a struggle similar to that of ʻUmi and Hakua of Hawaii. [7]

Family tree

Kahekili I, King of Maui
Hauanuihonialawahine, Chiefess of Kauai
Piʻilani, Mōʻī of Maui
Piʻikea, Chiefess of Maui and Hawaiʻi
Kumalae, Chief of Hilo
ʻUmi-a-Liloa, King of Hawaiʻi


  1. ^ Piʻilani
  2. ^ Glenda Bendure; Ned Friary (2008). Lonely Planet Maui. Lonely Planet. p. 242. ISBN  978-1-74104-714-1.
  3. ^ a b Patrick Vinton Kirch (7 July 2012). A Shark Going Inland Is My Chief: The Island Civilization of Ancient Hawai'i. University of California Press. pp. 206–. ISBN  978-0-520-95383-3.
  4. ^ P. Christiaan Klieger (1 January 1998). Moku'Ula: Maui's Sacred Island. Bishop Museum Press. ISBN  978-1-58178-002-4.
  5. ^ Kanalu G. Terry Young (25 February 2014). Rethinking the Native Hawaiian Past. Routledge. pp. 48–. ISBN  978-1-317-77669-7.
  6. ^ Kamakau, Samuel (1992). Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii. Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools Press. ISBN  0-87336-014-1.
  7. ^ a b Patrick Vinton Kirch (2 November 2010). How Chiefs Became Kings: Divine Kingship and the Rise of Archaic States in Ancient Hawai'i. University of California Press. pp. 101–. ISBN  978-0-520-94784-9.
  8. ^ Greg Ward (2001). Maui. Rough Guides. pp. 229–. ISBN  978-1-85828-852-9.