Description

The history of the Big Island is one rich in excitement and drama encapsulating a cast of personnages, dramatic events, and sweeping cultural, economic, and social change. Hawai‘i was the first of the Hawaiian Islands to be settled by the early Polynesians and the only island influenced by a volcanic atmosphere. It was here where most of the major battles in the civil wars to unite the islands were waged and where the greatest and first of the Hawaiian monarchs emerged. It was here where the kapu system was overthrown and where Captain Cook died. It is also the island most ravaged by natural disasters and the island that served as a training base for the marine division that took Iwo Jima and other Pacific islands. It is the island where ranching was most important where the first horses landed, where coffee was first grown, and where the seeds for the Hawaiian renaissance and sovereignty movements were planted.

Part I: PEOPLE OF OLD

Volcanic Landscapes

The People of Old: A New Culture

The Hula of Old

The Districts and Their Ruling Chiefs

Captain James Cook (1728–1779) 

Captain Cook’s Death 

Part II: THE MONARCHY

Kamehameha I, the Islands’ First King 

The Monarchy After 1819

Royal Visits 

Part III: WESTERNIZATION

Merchants, Adventurers, and Traders

Hawaiian Ways: A Threatened Culture 

Missionaries

Catholics 

Ranching and Paniolo

Parker Ranch

Part IV: KING SUGAR

Sweet Success

Sugar