Life and family
Born in the late 18th century or early 19th-century, her parents were Pauwelua and Kaluai. Her mother Kaluai was descended from the high chiefs of
Waimea, Hawaii. From her father's family descent, she was a great-granddaughter of
Keōua Kalanikupuapaʻīkalaninui Ahilapalapa, the father of King Kamehameha I who the progenitor the
House of Kamehameha and the unifier of the
Hawaiian Islands. She descended from Keōua's last wife Akahi-a-Kawalu (her great-grandmother and namesake), who became the mother of Kaleiwohi who married Kailipakalua and had Pauwelua.
 Through the Keōua line, according to
Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau, ʻAkahi was the third cousin of Bernice Pauahi Bishop and the second cousin of herself. Akahi was also the cousin of Pauahi's mother
Kōnia through their common grandmother Kailipakalua.
 In her final will, Pauahi called Akahi her aunt and historian
George Kanahele also called her Pauahi's aunt.
ʻAkahi became one of the wives of High Chief
Kahekili Keʻeaumoku II, a brother of the
Kuhina Nui, Queen
Kaʻahumanu. He was also the
Governor of Maui in his own right and was known commonly by foreigners as "Governor Cox". After Keʻeaumoku's death in 1824, ʻAkahi married Prime Minister
William Pit Kalanimoku, on June 28, 1825. This date was recorded in the journal of Spanish settler Don
Francisco de Paula Marín while American missionary Samuel Ruggle claimed the marriage took place the year before. The marriage ceremony was held at the
Kawaiahaʻo Church and attended by the chiefs and foreign residents.
 Her second husband Kalanimoku, who chose his Western name in honor of his English contemporary
William Pitt the Younger, was known for his political savvy and military prowess and had served as Prime Minister under the reigns of three Hawaiian kings and the regency of Kaʻahumanu. ʻAkahi became a widow for the second time when he died February 7, 1827. Her final husband was J. W. Kapaa, who outlived her and died in Honolulu on March 3, 1890.
Very few details survived about ʻAkahi's life. On September 28, 1840, American Protestant missionary Rev. Cochran Forbes complained about her adherence to the
Roman Catholic faith. Forbes wrote in his journal, "Akahi the head woman of Kealia with her husband is pleased with popery, because they do not require holiness of life as a test of communion. She will probably become a papist as she is unwilling to abandon her lusts."
 Her former husband Kalanimoku had also been baptized a Roman Catholic but later joined the Protestant church. In 1841, she noted as the "chief woman" in
Kealakekua, Hawaii and in 1845, she made a deposition in the case of
 She seemed to have resided exclusively on the island of Hawaii with occasional trips to