The Hawaiian Notions of a Future State…

 The house in which Mr. Bishop and myself had lodged, was early crowded with natives. Morning worship was held in the native language, and a short address given to the people. A very interesting conversation ensued, on the resurrection of the dead at the last day, which had been spoken of in the address. The people said they had heard of it by Kapihe, a native priest, who formerly resided in this village, and who, in the time of Tamehameha, told that prince, that at his death he would see his ancestors, and that hereafter all the kings, chiefs, and people of Hawaii, would live again. I asked them how this would be effected, and with what circumstances it would be attended; whether they would live again on Hawaii, or in Miru, the Hades of the Sandwich Islands? They said there were two gods, who conducted the departed spirits of their chiefs to some place in the heavens, where it was supposed the spirits of kings and chiefs sometimes dwelt, and afterwards returned with them to the earth, where they accompanied the movements, and watched over the destinies, of their survivors. The name of one of these gods was Kaomohiokala, the eye-ball of the sun; and of the other, Kuahairo. Kapihe was priest to the latter, and, by pretended revelation, informed Tamehameha that when he should die, Kuahairo would take his spirit to the sky, and accompany it to the earth again, when his body would be reanimated and youthful; that he would have his wives, and resume his government in Hawaii; and that, at the same time, the existing generation would see and know their parents and ancestors, and all the people who had died would be restored to life. These, they said, were all the particulars they knew ; but added, that though at Kapihe’s suggestion many valuable offerings were made to his god, he proved a false prophet, for Tamehameha died, and did not come to life again. At eight o’clock, a small pig, nicely baked under ground, and a calabash full of potatoes, were brought in for breakfast. We were both too ill to partake of the bounty of our kind host, yet felt grateful for his attention. (Ellis)

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 (These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

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