Keawe: the strand; long line of ancestors

“Keawe, a distinguished name throughout Hawaiian history, means ʻthe strand.’ It refers to a long line of ancestors, much as the word lei does when used in a name. Traditionally, the ʻstrand’ and the flowers in the lei would remind a person of his ancestors.

Keawe is a kūpuna name; in his book Ruling Chiefs of Hawaiʻi Samuel M. Kamakau names more than twenty chiefs, mainly on the island of Hawaiʻi, who carried the name Keawe. Symbols sacred to the long line of Keawe families are the feather-covered image known to us as Kūkāʻilimoku, or the ʻwar god,’ and Kāʻeikapuolīloa, a twelve-foot-long feather covered sash.” (Mitchell, pp. 111-113.)


Kū Kilakila ʻO Kamehameha, Donald D. Kilolani Mitchell, Kamehameha Schools, Honolulu, 1993.