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Hawaiian Mythology. Key Events in the History of Hawai`I Since Contact with Western Culture 1778 Captain Cook lands at Waimea, Kaua`i Gonorrhea, syphilis, tuberculosis, guns, alcohol and tobacco are introduced April, 1810

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Key Events in the History of Hawai`I Since Contact with Western Culture


Captain Cook lands at Waimea, Kaua`i

Gonorrhea, syphilis, tuberculosis, guns, alcohol and tobacco are introduced

April, 1810

Kamehameha unites/conquers (except Kauai) the Hawaiian Archipelago under his rule (with the aid of Western weapons)

May 8, 1819

Kamehameha dies Liholiho, Kamehameha II, becomes Mo`i (King)

June 1819

Kapu system abolished

March 31, 1820

First American Calvanist Missionaries arrive

July 1824

Liholiho dies of measles in London

June 6, 1825

Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III, become Mo`i

Ka`ahumanu becomes Kuhina Nui (Regent)


America recognizes Hawai`i's independence

October 8, 1840

First Constitution enacted by Kauikeauoli, Kamehameha III


British Navy seizes Hawai`i for Great Britain, then restores the Kingdom five months later

November 28, 1843

Great Britain and France recognize Hawai`i's independence

March 8, 1848

Mahele, land division - first private ownership of land

June 1850

First foreign ownership of land

December 15, 1854

Kauikeaouli dies and is succeeded by Alexander Liholiho, Kamehameha IV

November 30, 1863

Liholiho dies and Lot Kapuaiwa, Kamehameha V, becomes Mo`i

August 20, 1864

New Constitution decreed by Lot

December 11, 1872

Lot dies

1873 - 74

William Lunalilo elected as King

February, 1874 Western Culture

King Lunalilo dies

David Kalakaua elected King

December, 1882

`Iolani Palace completed

July 7, 1887

"Bayonet Constitution" forced on King Kalakaua by all-white “Hawaiian League,” stripping the power of the sovereign and Kanaka Maoli of their land rights

July, 1889

Robert Wilcox rebellion fails to overturn Bayonet Constitution

January, 1891

King Kalakaua dies in San Francisco

Lydia Kamaka`eha becomes Queen Lili`uokalani

January 17, 1893

Queen Lili`uokalani deposed by conspiracy of American businessmen with support of United States Marines and diplomatic representative

"Provisional Government" established

December 18, 1893

President Cleveland sends a message to Congress calling for the restoration of Queen Lili`uokalani as sovereign

July 4, 1894

Republic of Hawai`i declared

January, 1895

Unsuccessful attempt by Royalists to restore the Queen, Lili`uokalani and 200 others arrested and tried, Queen abdicates throne under duress

July 7, 1898

President McKinley signs illegal resolution to annex Hawai`i


Hawai`i becomes territory of the United States through the Organic Act imposed on Hawai`i


Congress passes Hawaiian Homes Commission Act to provide land for Kanaka Maoli settlement, in response to severely declining population and conditions of life (fails miserably by design)


Hawai`i placed under Article 73 of the United Nations Charter as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, under the administering authority of the United States

August 21, 1959

United States claims Hawai`i as a state of the union after illegal "plebiscite" vote is held, which does not offer the option of independence, as required by international law


Office of Hawaiian Affairs created in state Constitutional Convention

November 23, 1993

United States apologizes for the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai`i, recognizes the inherent sovereignty and right of self-determination of the Kanaka Maoli people

According to the Big Bang theory, the universe originated in an infinitely dense singularity. Space has expanded with the passage of time, objects being moved farther away from each other. This illustration shows abstracted "slices" of space at different points in time. It is simplified as it shows only two of three spatial dimensions, to allow for the time axis to be displayed conveniently.

Kumulipo an infinitely dense singularity. Space has expanded with the passage of time, objects being moved farther away from each other.

  • O ke au i kahuli wela ka honua At the time when the earth became hot

  • O ke au i kahuli lole ka lani At the time when the heavens turned about

  • O ke au i kuka'iaka ka la At the time when the sun was darkened

  • E ho'omalamalama i ka malama To cause the moon to shine

  • O ke au o Makali'i ka po The time of the rise of the Pleiades

  • O ka walewale ho'okumu honua ia The slime, this was the source of the earth

  • O ke kumu o ka lipo, i lipo ai The source of the darkness that made darkness

  • O ke kumu o ka Po, i po ai The source of the night that made night

  • O ka lipolipo, o ka lipolipo The intense darkness, the deep darkness

  • O ka lipo o ka la, o ka lipo o ka po Darkness of the sun, darkness of the night

  • Po wale ho--'I Nothing but night

  • Hanau ka po The night gave birth

  • Hanau Kumulipo i ka po, he kane Born was Kumulipo in the night, a male

  • Hanau Po'ele i ka po, he wahine Born was Po'ele in the night, a female

  • Hanau ka 'Uku-ko'ako'a, hanau kana, he 'Ako'ako'a, puka

  • Born was the coral polyp, born was the coral, came forth

  • Hanau ke Ko'e-enuhe 'eli ho'opu'u honua

  • Born was the grub that digs and heaps up the earth, came forth

  • Hanau kana, he Ko'e, puka

  • Born was his [child] an earthworm, came forth

  • Hanau ka Pe'a, ka Pe'ape'a kana keiki puka

  • Born was the starfish, his child the small starfish came forth….

A Little Hawaiian Vocabulary an infinitely dense singularity. Space has expanded with the passage of time, objects being moved farther away from each other.

  • Ka’ao – Fictional story or a story with fantastic aspect to it.

  • Mo’olelo – Sacred true stories about gods; told only by day and listeners must not move in front of speaker.

  • Mana – Supernatural or divine power, miraculous power, authority; outstanding character.

  • Ohana – Family, relative, kin group, extended family, clan.

  • Kama’aina – Native-born, one born in a place, host; native plant; acquainted, familiar.

  • Kumulipo – Origin, genesis, source of life, mystery; name of the Hawaiian creation chant.

  • Kanaloa – A major god.

  • Akua – God, goddess, spirit, ghost, devil, image, idol, corpse; divine, supernatural, godly. Akua might mate with humans and give birth to normal humans.

  • Kahuna – Priest, sorcerer, magician, wizard, minister, expert in any profession (whether male or female); in the 1845 laws doctors, surgeons, and dentists were called kahuna.

  • Pō – Night, darkness, obscurity; the realm of the gods; pertaining to or of the gods, chaos, or hell; dark, obscure, benighted; formerly the period of 24 hours beginning with nightfall (the Hawaiian “day” began at nightfall)

  • Heiau – Pre-Christian place of worship, shrine; some heiau were elaborately constructed stone platforms, others simple earth terraces. Many are preserved today

  • ‘Aumākua – Family or personal gods, deified ancestors who might assume the shape of sharks (all islands except Kaua’i), owls (as at Mānoa, O'ahu and Ka’ū and Puna, Hawai’i), hawks (Hawai’i), ‘elepaio, ‘iwi, mudhens, octopuses, eels, mice, rats, dogs, caterpillars, rocks, cowries, clouds, or plants. A symbiotic relationship existed; mortals did not harm or eat ‘aumākua (they fed sharks), and ‘aumākua warned and reprimanded mortals in dreams, visions, and calls.

  • wahi pana –Legendary or sacred place.

  • Pau – Finished, ended, through, terminated, completed, over, all done; final, finishing; entirely, completely, very much; after; all, to have all; to be completely possessed, consumed, destroyed.

The Kapu System separated Hawaiian society into four groups of people:

1.   The Ali’i, chiefs who ruled specific territories and who held their positions on the basis of family ties and leadership abilities - the chiefs were thought to be descendants of the gods and the highest chiefs, Ali’i Kapu, were considered gods

2.   The Kahuna, priests or skilled craftspersons that performed important religious ceremonies and served the Ali’i as close advisers

3.   The Maka’ainana, commoners (by far the largest group) who raised, stored, and prepared food, built houses and canoes, and performed other daily tasks

4.   The Kauwa, outcasts forced to lead lives segregated from the rest of Hawaiian society.

The Kapu (laws) regulating conservation of natural resources were usually farsighted and just. However, prohibitions upon the commoners were sometimes severe. There were different Kapu for different infractions. The most serious were laws of the gods, Kapu Akua, and laws of the chief, Kapu Ali’i. The chief had power over life and death. All he had to do was utter the word and a person would be killed. The chief could also utter a word to spare a life. As formidable as some Kapu were there was also a Kapu Akua (a law of the gods) providing for pardon, clemency, absolution, and mercy. This was known as Puuhonua or "refuge" from capital punishment.

Some Principal Gods of Hawaii of people:

  • Akua or Kupua – The actual gods who created everything, and keeps everything working.

  • Ha'iaka – Sister of the goddess Pele.

  • Haumea – She was daughter to Papa (a fertility goddess) and mother to Pele (female-volcanoes) and Hi'aika (dance-specifically the hula).

  • Kanaloa – Kanaloa is coupled with the God Kane. Kanaloa is the old Polynesian sea god of death, darkness, water, and squid. Under the influence of sorcery, Kane has the character to heal: Kanaloa, god of the squid,

  • Kane – Hawaiian god of the forests and trees. Kane was the leading god of the great gods named by the Hawaiians. He represented the god of procreation and was worshipped as ancestor of chiefs and commoners. Kane is the creator and gives life associated with dawn, sun and sky.

  • Hina – The first woman; she is represented with two heads, i.e. night and day. She is the guardian of the underworld, as well as a patroness of arts and crafts.

  • Kapua – The divine tricksters or mischief-makers of Hawaii.

  • Ki'i – Hawaiian creator god or first created man.

  • Kupua – Generic term for the demigods of Hawaii, as opposed to the Akua,the gods proper.

  • Ku – Ku (male or husband), and Hina (female or wife) were the rulers of the ancient people and are the earliest gods. They are great ancestral gods of earth and heaven who have general control over the bounty of earth and generations of mankind. Ku freed one from their faults and errors. He is associated with sacrifice and prisoners. Ku represents the East, or the sun rising, which indicates morning. Ku equals "rising upright." Hina represents the West, or the sun setting, which indicates evening. Hina means "leaning down."

  • Laka – Hawaiian goddess of song and dance.

  • Lono – Clouds and the phenomena of storms are associated with Lono. Lono brings on the rains and dispenses fertility. Lono is the god of harvest. Lono-makua (Father Lono) is the name given to portray the god during the Pre-Contact time.

  • Pele – Hawaiian goddess of volcanic fire, personification of the female power of destruction.

Hawaiian artifacts
Hawaiian Artifacts of people:

Feather Helmet Feather cape Shark tooth club

European drawings of sandwich islanders
European Drawings of of people: “Sandwich Islanders”

Pictures of hawaiians
Pictures of Hawaiians of people:

Queen Lili’uokalani King Kalakaua

‘Aumākua of people: Offspring of mortals who had mated with the akua (primary gods) also ancestors whose bones had been specially stripped of flesh upon death, wrapped in kapa and ceremonially prepared before the bones were placed in the custody of another descendant

Temple figures ku kaili moku god of war
Temple figures of people: Ku-kaili-moku? (God of War)

He i au sacred places
He’i’au of people: (Sacred Places)

Pele of people:

Volcanoes of people:

Maui of people: