This film plays with the short film JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED.
In 1779, during the season of Makahiki, Capt. James Cook landed in Kealakekua Bay on the island of Hawaiʻi. In a diplomatic gesture of goodwill, Hawaiʻi chief Kalaniʻōpuʻu gifted his ʻahu ʻula (cloak) and mahiole (helmet) to Cook. While Cook was later killed in Kealakekua, the chief’s cloak and helmet sailed to Europe with Cook’s crew, and ultimately ended up at the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
For 237 years, Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s belongings remained separated from Hawaiʻi. Through a partnership between the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Te Papa, Bishop Museum and with support from Hawaiian Airlines, these treasured symbols of mana and excellence in Hawaiian artisanship were allowed to return to Hawaiʻi. In March 2016, a Hawaiian delegation traveled to Aotearoa to engage in protocol and return the ʻahu ʻula and mahiole to Hawaiʻi. It was a historic event that captured the attention of millions of people around the world. The awe-inspiring journey was captured in the film, “”Nā Hulu Lehua: The Royal Cloak & Helmet of Kalaniʻōpuʻu.” Created by a team of indigenous filmmakers, the film tells the story of Kalaniʻōpuʻu and his mea kapu (sacred items), their amazing journey home and the cultural awakening that greeted them.