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Funeral Processions

Cover Image: Masthead of Ka Elele Hawaii published on January 1, 1855.

Aloha Nūhou Monday!

When a leader or someone held in high esteem by the nation died, the order of the funeral procession was something publicized in the newspapers so people knew ahead of time in what position they stood. The following for instance is the order of the funeral procession for Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III. It is followed by instructions for the day by Mataio Kekūanāoʻa, the Grand Marshall of the procession.

Image: “Ka Hoonohonoho ana i ka Huakai Hele o ka Hoolewa ana i ke Kupapau o ka Moi Kamehameha III.” Ka Elele Hawaii, January 1, 1855, p. 83.

Order of Procession

For the Funeral of

King Kamehameha III


Grand Marshal of the Procession

Grand Marshal

Hawaiian Cavalry

Physicians [interestingly called here Kahuna Lapaʻau]

Odd Fellows

Royal School

Punahou College

Other Schools with Their Teachers—Six Deep


The King’s Band

Household Troops

The King’s Purveyor and Servants

The King’s Personal Physician and the other doctors in attendance while he was sick.

The King’s Standard


[On each side of the coffin, from outside in: Soldiers, Aliʻi, Kāhili]


The Queen

Her Highness, Victoria Kamāmalu, and the King,

and His Highness, Lot Kamehameha

Chief Justice, Kuhina Nui, Chamberlain

The Ministers

Representatives of Foreign Nations

The Governors of the Islands

The Members of the Privy Council and Their Wives

The Foreign Consuls, the Custom Officers, and other Government Officers—Four Deep


Hawaiian Infantry

Haole Soldiers

Soldiers aboard the warships

Fire Companies—Four Deep

Ladder and Hook Companies

The King’s Yeomanry [Hulumanu]

The Haole and Those Aboard the Trade Ships—Six Deep

Kānaka Maoli—Eight Deep

Hawaiian Infantry.


Those attending the funeral are to gather on King Street at 10 o’clock in the morning, and the procession will begin at 11 o’clock.

The line of the procession will be formed on the makai side of the Palace until Richards Street. Those who are walking with the Body of the late King will stand at the north of the Palace until Richards Street. Come all.

M. Kekūanāoʻa, Grand Marshal.

(Elele Hawaii, 1/1/1855, p. 83)

Here are links to a few others. Click on the name to be taken to the online article.

Nāhiʻenaʻena (Ke Kumu Hawaii, 2/15/1837)

Kamehameha IV (Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, 1/30/1864)

Lunalilo (Ko Hawaii Ponoi, 2/25/1874)

Pauahi Bishop (Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, 11/1/1884)

There are many, many more. Can you find others?

Image: Half-plate ambrotype of Mataio Kekūanāoʻa; Hawaiʻi. Bishop Museum Archives. SP 73789. 

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact

Image: Seated portrait of King Kamehameha III, from a daguerreotype; Hawaiʻi. ca. 1850. Bishop Museum Archives. SA 1041.

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact

This post is part of He Aupuni Palapala: Preserving and Digitizing the Hawaiian Language Newspapers, a partnership between Bishop Museum and Awaiaulu with assistance from Kamehameha Schools. Mahalo nui loa to Hawaii Tourism Authority for their support. Learn more about this project here.

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