Kokoiki Land section near Moʻokini Heiau , Kohala, Hawaiʻi, birthplace of Kamehameha I, said to be marked by a stone called Pohaku-hanau ali’i (stone of royal birth).
Lit., little blood. (Pukui)
ʻUpolu Point. Kohala, Hawaiʻi.
ʻUpolu, an island in Samoa. (Pukui)
Although there is some debate as to the precise year of his birth, Hawaiian legends claimed that a great king would one day unite the islands, and that the sign of his birth would be a comet. Halley's comet was visible from Hawaiʻi in 1758 and it is likely Kamehameha was born shortly after its appearance. Other accounts state that he was born in November 1737.
He was known as Paiʻea, which means "hard-shelled crab". His father by blood was Keōua. His mother was Chiefess Kekuʻiapoiwa of the Kohala district on the island of Hawaiʻi.
His father Keōua was the grandson of Keaweikekahialiʻiokamoku, who had once ruled a large portion of the island of Hawaiʻi. When Keaweikekahialiʻiokamoku died, war broke out over succession between his sons, Kalani Kama Keʻeaumoku Nui and Kalaninuiʻamamao, and a rival chief, Alapaʻinuiakauaua. Alapaʻi emerged victorious over the two brothers, and their orphan sons (including Kamehameha's father) were absorbed into his clan. He may also be the son of the king of Maui Kahekili II.
When Kamehameha (Paiʻea) was born, Alapaʻi ordered the child killed. One of his priests (kahuna) had warned him that a fiery light in the sky would signal the birth of a "killer of chiefs". Alapaʻi, nervous at the thought of this child eventually usurping his rule, decided to take no chances. Paiʻea's parents, however, had anticipated this. As soon as he was born, he was given into the care of Naeʻole, another noble from Kohala, and disappeared from sight. Naeʻole raised Paiʻea for the first few years of his life. Five years after his birth, Alapaʻi, perhaps remorseful of his actions, invited the child back to live with his family. There under the guidance of his kumu (teacher), Kekuhaupiʻo, he learned the ways of court diplomacy and war. Kekuhaupiʻo remained a faithful and trusted advisor to Paiʻea until the accidental death of the loyal kahu during a sham battle.