King Kaumuali‘i’s statue
“Kaua‘i has been celebrating Kamehameha since I was a child … but nobody celebrates Kaumuali‘i,” said Aletha Kaohi, president of Friends of King Kaumuali‘i.
Though the bronze statue crafted by artist Saim Caglayan is only three-foot tall, it will serve as the prototype for an eight-foot-tall statue of the king to be placed near his original home on Kaua‘i’s Westside. The Friends of King Kaumuali‘i will spearhead the $300,000 fundraising effort for the final statue.
In 2004, a small group of people formed the Friends of King Kaumuali‘i, but their goal to erect a statue of the king was eventually put in the backburner. Despite written descriptions of Kaumuali‘i, there are less than a handful of images of him; none made during his lifetime and none too appealing for the group to push forward a fundraising effort.
In 2012, Westside resident Barbara Bennett came across a painting of the king done by O‘ahu-based artist Brooke Kapukuniahi Parker, printed in Lee B. Croft’s book, George Anton Schaeffer: Arm Wrestling Kamehameha. Touched by the power of Parker’s painting, Bennett took it to the Friends of King Kaumuali‘i, reigniting their goal.