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Hawaii History and Culture

The native Hawaiians probably came originally from islands in eastern Polynesia, sometime between the 7th century and the 13th century. By the time of the arrival of the first Westerners late in the 18th century, the islands were divided among several kingdoms, which were often at war.
In 1778 British explorer Captain James Cook sailed to the islands and named the chain the Sandwich Islands in honor of his patron, John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. Sometime around 1785, the islands became an important provision port for European and North American ships trading with East Asia. Foreign ships frequently remained in Hawaiian harbors for several months, leading to substantial mingling of the crews and the native Hawaiians. The foreigners introduced cattle, horses, and orange trees, as well as other plants and domestic animals that in the end also introduced a number of highly infectious diseases, causing thousands of Hawaiians to die.
Kamehameha, a chief on the island of Hawaii, became the first ruler of a unified Hawaiian kingdom as Kamehameha I in 1810. He ended regional warfare and adopted uniform laws. Eventhough he was open to new ideas brought by foreigners, Kamehameha maintained Hawaiian independence during a time of Western colonial expansion.

The Hawaiian dance known as the hula, is a traditional dance originally both a religious exercise and a form of entertainment. The ukulele, an instrument closely associated with Hawaiian music, is an adaptation of a small guitar brought to the islands by Portuguese laborers.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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