Buke Māhele, 1848

The Buke Māhele (Division Book) of 1848, copy of 1864, documents the agreements among King Kamehameha III, family members, supporting chiefs, and others who supported Kamehameha I and his heirs in the period between the 1790s and the 1830s. The Buke Māhele also lists the lands granted by the king to the government land inventory—financial returns from sales and leases of such were dedicated to the support of government operations—and for conveyance through Royal Patent Grants to Hawaiians and other parties in leasehold and fee-simple interests. This book is also the primary source for identifying the Crown and Government land inventory now known as the Ceded Lands.

Pursuant to the Kuleana Act of 1850, the maka‘āinana and foreigners who had sworn oaths of allegiance were granted the right to register claims for parcels from all of the lands listed in the Buke Māhele. In Honouliuli, including the ‘ili of Pu‘uloa, only one chiefly claim was recorded for the ahupua‘a: Mikahela Kekauonohi, a granddaughter of Kamehameha I, niece of Kamehameha III, and wife of Aarona Kealiiahonui, who was son of the last sovereign King of Kaua‘i. The tables below show what the Buke Māhele reports of the division agreement.

Lands Relinquished to Kamehameha III
Na Aina Ahupuaa Kalana Mokupuni
Kapaloa Ili i Honolulu Kona Oahu
Puahia Ili i Waikiki Kona Oahu
Lands Retained by M. Kekauonohi
Na Aina Ahupuaa Kalana Mokupuni
Honouliuli Ahupuaa Ewa Oahu
Waimalu Aoao Komohana Ewa Oahu


Related Documents

The Hoakalei Cultural Foundation (HCF) seeks to provide the public with access to the rich history of Honouliuli Ahupuaa—bringing traditional and historical documentation that has time depth, and that is factual, to the attention of all who care for this land. The research is being conducted in a wide range of archival collections, and incorporates primary—first account—documentation from both Hawaiian- and English-language resources.

As a part of that research, Kepa Maly and Onaona Pomroy Maly completed a review of all the original land title records of the Hawaiian Kingdom recorded during the Mahele Aina (Land Division) between the years 1847 and 1855. For the first time, all of the Mahele records have been compiled in one collection, and the original Hawaiian-language documents of the Native Register and Testimony collections were translated by Kepa Maly for this program. This work was conducted over a five-week period between July and August 2012. The results provide readers with significant documentation coming from those who lived on and knew the land in a traditional manner. The Mahele documents describe land use, residency, and the practices of the families of Honouliuli and its smaller land subdivisions. With this information, we are able better to understand the history and cultural landscape of Honouliuli. While much has changed in the last 170 years, the spirit of place, the named places, and lives of those who came before us are still present on the land. Their history adds value to our own lives and community.

All told, 436 Mahele documents were found for Honouliuli; no additional Mahele claims for Honouliuli are known to exist. This total can be broken down, as follows:

105 Native Register (NR) Claim records registered by 99 native tenants;
80 Native Testimony (NT) Claim records;
99 Foreign Testimony (FT) records;
77  Mahele Award Book records; and
75  Palapala Sila Nui (Royal Patent) records.

Of the 106 native tenant claims and one chiefly claim identified from Honouliuli, 74 were awarded to the claimants or their heirs and 33 were denied.

In compiling this collection of historical land and family records from Honouliuli, we have attempted to ensure the accuracy of all citations. The original records though, are challenging. Being all handwritten, the writing is at times illegible. At other times spelling of personal and land area names vary from one record to another. We have done our best to compare the various records and maintain the highest accuracy possible. The records are organized by Helu—the original numerical sequence assigned at the time of recording the information. Also, certain important classes of information such as place names, personal names, subsistence practices, types of features, and cultural and natural resources are called out in tables and summary form for easy access to the historical information.