Duke Kahanamoku - Honolulu, HI
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
N 21° 16.906 W 157° 50.290
4Q E 620526 N 2353775
A sign about Duke Kahanamoku.
Waymark Code: WM17MEJ
Location: Hawaii, United States
Date Posted: 03/08/2023
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 0

Olympic swimming champion Duke Kahanamoku (1890–1986) spent much of his youth here in Kalia with his mother’s family, the Paoas. The family owned most of the 20 acres which the Hilton Hawaiian Village now occupies. It is said that it was here in Kalia that a husband waited patiently for the return of his wife who had been wooed away by a rival chief on Maui; hence, the name Kalia or “waited for.” Duke’s grandfather, Ho`olae Paoa, a descendant of royal chiefs, was deeded the land by King Kamehameha III in the Great Mahele of 1848. (The Great Mahele was a dividing of the lands among the king, the chiefs, and the commoners. It also allowed foreigners to own land in the kingdom for the first time.)

The Paoas were a large ‘ohana (family). More than 100 were living in the area at the time. The home in which Duke lived was located about where the former Hilton Dome stood for so many years. The families had their gardens and grew enough taro and sweet potatoes to meet their needs. Being excellent fishermen, they never were short of the bounties of the seaweed, squid, shrimp, crab, lobster
and varieties of fish. Duke learned to swim in these waters the old-fashioned way: by being thrown into the water to sink or swim! He learned so well that in 1910 he broke the world’s record for the 50-yard sprint. In 1912 he was named to the U.S. Olympic team and won the gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle. This area is also where he learned to become a champion surfrider and Hawaiian outrigger canoe paddler. Some say you can still feel the “mana” (energy or spirit) of Duke and the Paoas here on their former lands.

In 1925 Duke became a national hero when he used his surfboard to rescue eight fishermen from their sinking vessel in high seas off Newport Beach."
Group that erected the marker: City and County of Honolulu

Address of where the marker is located. Approximate if necessary:
Holomoana Street
Honolulu, HI USA


URL of a web site with more information about the history mentioned on the sign: Not listed

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