If they arrange ahead, Honolulu visitors to Mauna Ala, site of the Royal Mausoleum in Nuuanu, can have a guided tour by its curator William John Kaiheekai Maioho, the kahu of the iwi (bones) of the alii (royalty) and high chiefs—namely the Kamehamehas and the Kalakauas.
I and Miss Marvelous tagged along recently with DH and a group of volunteer docents from the Bishop Museum. Bill Maioho’s presentation—full of details and anecdotes, talk story style—included a chronology of the Hawaiian royals and others who are buried at Mauna Ala, information about the chapel building and how its use changed over the years, and a look inside the gates of the Kalakaua crypt.
Bill Maioho descends from the Taylor family whose kuleana (responsibility and privilege) is to care for the iwi at Mauna Ala. You can find his story as an oral history article in Pacific Worlds, an excellent website with information about Polynesia. Please click on the link.
Mahalo to Uncle Bill.