The first waves of migration from Polynesia to the Hawaiian Islands likely began 3,000 years ago. In 1100 AD , as Hawaiian settlement of the islands spread north from the Big Island, Oahu and the North Shore region became home to early Hawaiian communities that thrived at ocean, land and streams junctures such as the Anahulu Stream and Waimea Valley. The North Shore’s first peoples were drawn here by the abundance of fish in the sea and the fertile lands dotted with freshwater springs that made it possible for them to grow taro and sweet potato.
To this day, it is a civilization marked by ingenuity and resourcefulness
It is a culture celebrated internationally for its artistry and sophistication. But the original Hawaiians also had a structured society and complex agricultural methods that were the precursor of 21st century concepts of self-sufficiency and environmental sustainability.
It has always been a mid-ocean crossroads for exploration of the Pacific Rim
So not surprisingly, Hawaii has become home to many different ethnic groups who have contributed to a “local” culture. In the last 200 years in particular, each new ethnic group has added elements of its own to local life. Today, a “Native Hawaiian” can be defined as “any individual who is a descendant of the aboriginal people who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the area that now constitutes the State of Hawai‘i.”
However, Native Hawaiians are so much more
They define themselves by their relationships with each other, their ancestors and their land. Everyone has a kuleana, (responsibility) to use his or her talents to the benefit of the entire ‘ohana (family). Built upon the foundation of the ‘ohana, Hawaiian culture ensures the health of the community as a whole.
The Ancient Hawaiians were among the first to understand that it takes a village to raise a child.
While Hawaiians have a strong sense of ohana – that is those related by blood or a common cause – their caring and compassion, plus their famous aloha spirit extends even further and represents a bright spot in a world of strife.