Hawaii, Land of Surf and Sunshine Art Print

Hawaii, Land of Surf and Sunshine

Hawaii, Land of Surf and Sunshine Art Print
Erickson, Kerne
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Hawaii Vintage Travel Beach & Sun Posters Prints

Early history

Hawaii was a group of islands covered with vegetation and surrounded by coral reefs for thousands of years before any man came to its shores, and the islands may have been in existence before any men were on earth. It would be interesting to know the name of the man who first saw Mauna Loa, Haleakala, the Nuuanu Pali, or Waimea Canyon, and to know how lie came to the islands and the reason for his coming. But the date of discovery, the name of the discoverer, and the place from which he came will never be known.

The first Hawaiians

According to some traditions, the first people to settle in Hawaii were a small group of Polynesians probably the occupants of one canoe -- who reached the islands about 500 A.D. It may be that these people and their descendants were the only inhabitants of Hawaii for more than six hundred years. Then more immigrants came, and during the years between 1100 A.D. and 1250 A.D. new settlers arrived from the Marquesas, from Tahiti, and from Samoa.

According to Hawaiian tradition the first of these new settlers was Paao, who arrived at Puna from Samoa or from Tahiti about the year 1125 with a company of thirty-eight, including his relatives and attendants. The fact that his expedition was equipped with well-constructed boats, a store of food, and was accompanied by a navigator, a sailing master, and an astronomer indicates a definite intention to find a place for settlement. But there is no evidence that Paao knew of the existence of Hawaii. It is probable that he found it by chance. There are no traditions of immigrations to Hawaii during the period 1250 to 1778, the date of the rediscovery by Captain James Cook.Thus for more than 500 years the inhabitants of Hawaii may have been isolated from the other peoples in the Pacific. During this time of about twenty generations the Hawaiians lived much like other members of their race, but because they were not in contact with their relatives living on distant islands they came to have customs and beliefs, kinds of governments, songs, and stories somewhat different from those in other parts of Polynesia .

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