Amata Kabua (November 17, 1928 – December 20, 1996) was the first President of the Marshall Islands from 1979 to 1996 (five consecutive terms).
Amata Kabua was the son of high chiefess Tarjikit of the Eastern (Ratak chain) and a Japanese administrator.Through the Marshallese custom of "kujen loje" (adoption) Irooj Bwidrak (offspring of Chief or Cheifess with a Commoner) Lojelañ (one of four chiefs) of the Ralik (Western) chain claimed Amata as his own. Irooj Bwidrak Lojelañ was the son of Irooj Bwidrak Jeimata. Jeimata was the son of High Chief Kabua the Great or Kabualaplap and a Lerooj Bwidak (Cheifess) Liwodrin of the Ijjidik clan.
The Kabua Name that Amata has is only in name since he does not have blood relations to Kabau the Great. Amata was buried in Majuro in the Ratak (Eastern) Chain and was not allowed to be burried with in Aelonglaplap which is the traditional burial place of the high Chiefs of the Ralik (Western) Chain.
Amata began his career as a school teacher. He was elected to the Congress of Micronesia in 1963 and served one term as its president. Amata Kabua was the first president of the Marshall Islands in 1979 when its first constitution was implemented. After his older brother irooj Joba Kabua died in 1982, Amata Kabua inherited the Iroijlaplap title for Majuro Atoll in the domain of Kaibuke Tobinwa and certain parts of the Ralik Chain of the Marshall Islands in the domain of Jeimata Kabua.He later became the first president of the Marshall Islands when the nation received full independence in free association with the United States through the compact. He had been a principal participant in the negotiations to gain independence for the Marshall Islands and is regarded as the founding father of the modern nation by Marshallese. He wrote the words and music for the national anthem, "Forever Marshall Islands".
Amata Kabua was the son of a Japanese businessman and Lerooj (Chiefess) Tarjikit of the Ratak Chain. He died in office after a long illness, on December 20, 1996, in Hawaii.