Duke Kahanamoku

Duke Kahanamoku (HM8J4)

Location: Honolulu, HI 96815 Honolulu County
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Country: United States of America
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N 21° 16.883', W 157° 50.233'

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— Waikīkī Historic Trail —

Olympic swimming champion Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1986) spent much of his youth here in Kālia 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 inKālia that a husband waitedpatiently for the return of hiswife who had been wooedaway by a rival chief onMaui; hence, the name Kāliaor "waited for." Duke'sgrandfather, 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). Morethan 100 were living in thearea at the time. The homein which Duke lived waslocated about where theformer Hilton Dome stoodfor so many years. The families had their gardens andgrew enough taro and sweetpotatoes to meet their needs. Being excellent fishermen, they never were short of the bounties of theseaweed, squid, shrimp, crab, lobster and varieties offish. Duke learnedto 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 namedto the U.S. Olympic team and won the gold medalin the 100-meter freestyle. This area is also wherehe learned to become a champion surfrider andHawaiian outrigger canoe paddler. Some say youcan still feel the "mana" (energy or spirit) of Dukeand 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.
HM NumberHM8J4
Marker Number16
Placed ByThe City and County of Honolulu
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 5:49pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)4Q E 620624 N 2353733
Decimal Degrees21.28138333, -157.83721667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 21° 16.883', W 157° 50.233'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds21° 16' 52.98" N, 157° 50' 13.98" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)808
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 188 Paoa Pl, Honolulu HI 96815, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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