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From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
Modern native Hawaiʻians have a rich, colorful past that they are keen to pass on to eager groups of children and grandchildren sitting out on the lanai. But inside each native Hawaiʻian, or more specifically their genes, lies another rich, colorful past, just waiting to be told.
About fifty thousand years ago Australia and New Guinea were first settled. Between 1600-1200 BC the seafarers from New Guinea set off in their canoes in order to settle new lands. They first came upon the islands of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, and from here, the Polynesian culture began to develop some 900-1300 years later. Continuing on with their voyages, they moved eastward and settled Tahiti, the Cook Islands, the Marquesas and Rapa Nui, all up until about 300AD.
According to archeologists, the first boat of settlers to Hawaii landed around AD 500, carrying Marquesans who are largely thought to have been exiled from Marquesas due to the fact that no new Marquesans ever arrived, nor did any go back. These few Marquesans began to settle the outlying Islands. Not much is known about these early settlers.
The next wave of settlers were from Tahiti, and arrived in much larger numbers around AD 1000. These settlers were well equipped to begin life in a new land, having arrived with large numbers of pigs, dogs, taro roots, and other crop plants. When the Tahitians arrived they began to settle each of the major islands. The Tahitians made many subsequent journeys back and forth between Hawaiʻi and Tahiti, ostensibly to get supplies, and report on their findings. After the first of such voyages vast waves of Tahitians followed to pursue a new life in Hawaiʻi. So many Tahitians came to Hawaiʻi that Hawaiʻi's population may have reached 250,000 by AD 1450. The voyages continued until around AD 1500 when all contact between Tahiti and Hawaiʻi appears to have stopped.
Some notable Hawaiians include: