Royal Mausoleum caretaker's bloodline rich in ancient Hawaiian history - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Royal Mausoleum caretaker's bloodline rich in ancient Hawaiian history

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Bill Kaiheekai Maioho Bill Kaiheekai Maioho

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

NUUANU (KHNL) - On Wednesday, we showed you a place so sacred, our photojournalist Ed Matthews wasn't allowed to film parts of it.

Tonight, we have part two of our inside look at the Royal Mausoleum featuring the caretaker, whose bloodline is a noble and humble story in itself.

It is said that somewhere in the ocean's vast Hawaiian waters is a secret undersea coral cave where Kamehameha The Great is buried.

The King entrusted two high chiefs to hide his iwi, or bones - Brothers Hoapili and Hoolulu.

"Hoapili, who is standing holding the rifle with the feather ahu. And Ho'olulu who is on his knees carrying the iwi of Kamehameha on his back which is encased in a kaai," said Bill Kaiheekai Maioho, pointing to a painting of the brothers.

It's a story engraved in Maioho's heart, and blood. He is a descendant of Hoolulu. To this day, Maioho carries on his sixth great-grandfather's post as protector and caretaker of the Kamehameha Dynasty's iwi.

"There are 24 Kamehameha's here, along with the ashes of mr. bishop," he said, pointing to their tombs at the Royal Mausoleum on Mauna ala where Maioho is the curator.

It's a duty he's held the past 14 years.

Before Maioho, his mother, Lydia Namahanaikaleleokalani Taylor Maioho served as kahu of Mauna Ala for 28 years.

And before her, his grandfather, William Kaiheekai Taylor, served for nine years.

Maioho is one of only two people who can unlock the Kalakaua crypt, a grave so sacred, we weren't allowed to bring our camera underground.

"I am awestruck that I have the key and to be able to cross the threshold. My heart is overwhelmed by it actually. I cannot believe that I am standing in the footprints of my ancestral chiefs," said Maioho.

Footprints that Maioho humbly holds in high honor, as the key guardian of the legacy of the Royal Hawaiian throne.

And that role as kahu of Mauna Ala, which has been handed down through the generations, will continue.

Maioho says his son will take over when the time comes.