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History of Hawaii

Hawaiian Culture

Ancient History of Hawaii

The migration of ancient tribes occurred some 30,000 years ago - within the Polynesia islands as well. Several thousand years ago in New Guinea, taro was grown and cultivated - the main food of the Hawaiian people.

There is scientific proof that the old Lapita culture (the culture of ancestors from Polynesia) was spreading into Melanesia, West Polynesia and Samoa, Tonga and the Marquesan islands around 1500 BC. The roots of Lopita culture come from central and eastern Indonesia, southwest Asia and ancient China from 6000 BC.

New Migrations in the last century

Archaeological research shows that the last inhabitation of the islands occurred about 1500 years ago. We must remember that on volcanic islands any archaeological research is not fully reliable for researching very old cultures, due to volcanic activities, which burn and cover the artifacts with lava.

People from the last - archeologically proven period - came about 1500 years ago from south Polynesia. They had extraordinary navigational skills. They had no maps, they used the sky and waves, the smell and colors of the water and clouds, they watched birds and sea animals and more to guide them. This wisdom was passed on from one generation to the next in chants. All the knowledge and details were contained in the chants.

In ancient times, the Polynesian voyagers reached the Hawaiian islands by following the stars Sirius and Arcturus (in prehistoric times known as Hokule or "star of joy"). For some reason, which we don't know, a few hundreds years ago, the voyages from south Polynesia stopped and the existence of the Hawaiian islands was forgotten by the world. The modern world did not know about the Hawaiian islands until 1778 when captain James Cook found them in the Pacific Ocean.

In Hawaiian legends, there are stories about race and the inhabitants on Hawaiian islands, before the Polynesians came. Menehune - the small people lived there before. The arrival of tall and aggressive tribes from southern Polynesia changed this place forever.

Sometime between 1100-1300, the chief from Tahiti came to Hawaii, stayed for a few years and asked numerous questions and finally left the islands. He later came again with thousands of warriors and violently changed the peaceful social system of Hawaii. He introduced human sacrifice or the kapu system into Hawaiian culture. The ancient Hawaiian Aloha culture was changed into something new.

Modern History of Hawaii

The modern history of Hawaii started with the huge impact of chief Kamehameha I, who unified all the islands into one kingdom. In the following years, white people, at first missionaries in 1820 and later businessmen, came to the islands. From this time on, Hawaii has been strongly influenced by western culture of many nations.

1810 - 1893 Hawaiian Kingdom
1894 1898 was an independent territory, and later annexed by the US.
1958 Hawaii became the 50th US state.

Referencje: Past Words - Atlas of Archeology, 2003, Border Press.


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