opukahaiah) (1792-1818. Hawaiian Christian who inspired American missionary interest in what were then the Sandwich Islands. Born on the island of Hawaii, at twelve years of age he saw his parents slain in a local war and himself taken prisoner. Later he found refuge with an uncle, a priest, who trained Obookiah for the same occupation. Discontented, however, the youth managed to leave the island for America in the ship of a Captain Brintnall, arriving in New York in 1809. Aided by some college students, he learned English, became a devoted Christian, and planned to return to Hawaii with the Gospel. He inspired the sending of the first missionary party, but himself died of typhus before he could return with them.