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Hawaii's Security Legacy

In the era before the Western World came ashore to Hawaii, citizens were at the mercy of those who had power. King Kamehameha was chasing a Puna commoner and got stuck in a rock hole. The commoner then broke a paddle over the King’s head. When the King’s warriors captured the commoner, the King said to release him because he was just defending his property. The King created Māmala Hoe Kānāwai; the Law of the Splintered Paddle, also known as Māmala Hoa. “Let every elderly person, woman and child lie by the roadside in safety.” He created a special company of warriors known as Māmala Hoa. If it was named after the law, its purpose surely must have been to enforce Māmala Hoa; indeed, the first security guards of the land. The adjoining symbol is representative of this legacy of security in the State of Hawaii.

Māmala Hoe Kānāwai 


 The Law of the Splintered Paddle

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