King George Tupou I & family
In the early 17th century, the sixth Tu'i Ha'atakalaua, Mo'unga'otonga, gave his first son Ngata the title of Tu'i Kanokupolu. Ngata's mother was Tohu'ia of Safata, Tu'i Ha'atakalaua Mo'unga'otonga's Samoan wife. As was in the case of the establishment of the Tu'i Ha'atakalaua title, the Tu'i Kanokupolu title was also established to assist and protect both the Tu'i Tonga and Tu'i Ha'atakalaua. The literal translation of Kanokupolu is the flesh/heart of Upolu (Samoa). This signifies the strong influence that Samoa had on the Tu'i Kanokupolu dynasty.
Tu'i Kanokupolu Ngata established his prescence in the Hihifo or western region of Tongatapu. Key figures in his rise in power and influence were his cohort of advisors and protectors known as 'Ulutolu (three heads). The commanding position that the Tu'i Kanukupolu dynasty later held was exhibited when the eldest daughter of the Tu'i Kanokupolu married the Tu'i Tonga, instead of the Tu'i Ha'atakalaua. This contributed to the rise of the Kanokupolu at the expense of the Ha'atakalaua. Direct strength of arms and political savvy, particularly by King Siaosi (George) Tupou I (nineteenth Tu'i Kanokupolu), culminated in the eventual unification of Tonga under the Tupou Royal line.
King Siaosi Tupou I established the Constitution of Tonga in 1875 and the current system of government and Nobility (there are 33 Nobles across Tonga).
Today, the title of Tu'i Kanokupolu is not visibly used in conjunction with the Tupou line, as they have
His Majesty King Siaosi Tupou V is the regal fusion of all three dynasties in Tonga and remains the sole Monarch in the Pacific.
Tu'i Kanokupolu Dynasty Line
1. Ngata (son of Tu'i Ha'atafunga Mo'unga'otonga) (approximately 1610 A.D)
4. Mataele Ha'amea
5. Vuna Tu'i'oetau
8. Maealiuaki (abdicated his Tu'i Kanokupolu title to become a Tu'i Ha'atakalaua)
9. Tu'ihalafatai (met Captain Cook in 1777)
12. Tupoumoheofo (Female Tu'i Kanokupolu that started sitting with her back to the Koka tree – this became on ongoing tradition for Kings to sit with their back to the tree. Tupoumoheofo took the Kanokupolu title from her brother who was the righful heir).
17. Tupouto'a (reigned 1812 – 1820)
18. Aleamotu'a (reigned 1826 – 1845) (his son left Tonga for Fiji as he did not want to become a Tu'i Kanokupolu)
19. Siaosi Tupou I (reigned 1845 - 1893) (first of the Tupou Royal line that still reigns in Tonga today)
20. Siaosi Tupou II (reigned 1893 - 1918)
21. Salote Tupou III (reigned 1918 - 1965)
22. Taufa'ahau Tupou IV (reigned 1965 - 2006)
23. Siaosi Tupou V (current Monarch)