- Amy Ku‘Uleialoha Stillman
Lying in the North Pacific Ocean just a few degrees south of the Tropic of Cancer, approximately 2550 miles southwest of Los Angeles, the Hawaiian islands archipelago comprises over 130 islands stretching over 1500 miles. The southernmost high volcanic islands are inhabited, while the lower islands and shoals to the north are a wildlife preserve. The 2010 US Census reported a statewide population of 1.36 million.
The first settlers arrived some 2000 years ago from islands to the south, and in ensuing centuries their language and culture developed distinct from ancestral relations. The arrival of British explorer Capt. James Cook in 1778 drew the islands into the global system of European and eventually American capitalism and imperialism. The archipelago’s indigenous people embraced Christianity and literacy, introduced by missionaries of the Boston-based American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM), along with the constitutional government of the kingdom that was unified under one ruler by ...