Native Hawaiian Heritage & Culture

Superb voyagers, Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands migrated to Hawai`i more than 1,600 years ago. Polynesians were well established on the islands when, about 800 years ago, Polynesians from the Society Islands arrived in Hawai`i. Claiming descent from the greatest gods, they became the new rulers of Hawai`i. After a time of voyaging back and forth between the Society Islands and the Hawaiian Archipelago, contact with southern Polynesia ceased. During the 400 years of isolation that followed, a unique Hawaiian culture developed.

The tread of time ties Hawaiian heritage and culture today to the past. The fabric of Hawaiian life continues to be woven. Learn about aspects of Hawaiian heritage and culture below.

To learn about history of Hawai'i, visit the Hawaiian History page.

A steaming crater and a snow-capped volcano in a distance.
Pronunciation of Hawaiian Place Names

Learn more about how place names have historical or cultural significance, reflecting the stories, events, and people that shaped the area.

More About Hawaiian Culture

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    Last updated: March 8, 2023