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History

  • Pre-Contact
    Before 1778

    Pre-Contact
    Before 1778

    Before we recount events, we should first understand how Pre-contact Hawaiians viewed the world around them. In Hawaiian culture, natural and cultural resources are one and the same.

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  • Post-Contact
    From 1778

    Post-Contact
    From 1778

    Hawaiian lives changed with sudden and lasting impact when in 1778, Captain James Cook and his crew arrived. Contact changed the course of history for Hawai‘i when they made the first western contact with Hawai‘i.

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  • Kamehameha’s Attempts to Conquer Kaua’i
    1782-1795

    Kamehameha’s Attempts to Conquer Kaua’i
    1782-1795

    During this era of western discovery, King Kamehameha I was attempting to gain control of the Island of Hawaiʻi and eventually unify the Hawaiian Islands under his rule.

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  • Sandalwood (‘Iliahi)
    1809

    Sandalwood (‘Iliahi)
    1809

    Sandalwood (ʻiliahi) has been highly prized and in great demand through the ages; its use for incense is part of the ritual of Buddhism. Chinese used the fragrant heart wood for incense, medicinal purposes, for architectural details and carved objects.

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  • Coming of the Missionaries
    1809

    Coming of the Missionaries
    1809

    The history of Christianity in Hawaiʻi begins with Henry Opukahaʻia, a native Hawaiian from the Island of Hawaiʻi who in 1809, at the age of 16, boarded the sailing ship Triumph anchored in Kealakekua Bay and sailed to the continent.

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  • Whaling
    1819

    Whaling
    1819

    The whaling industry replaced the sandalwood trade. As the sandalwood industry declined, Hawai’i became the base for the north-central Pacific whaling trade. Hawai‘i’s whaling era began in 1819 when two New England ships became the first whaling ships to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands.

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  • Sugar
    Mid-19th Century to 1960s

    Sugar
    Mid-19th Century to 1960s

    Sugar gradually replaced sandalwood and whaling in the mid-19th century and became the principal industry in the islands until it was succeeded by the visitor industry in 1960.

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  • Visitor Industry
    From 1900

    Visitor Industry
    From 1900

    When Hawaiʻi became a U. S. territory (June 14, 1900,) it drew adventuresome cruise ship travelers in a tourism boom. Hotels blossomed, including Waikiki’s oldest surviving hotel, the Moana Hotel, in 1901.

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