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Peaceful times in Ancient Hawaiian History
By Ayesha Sandra Lee

"I am looking for more information about the times before war and strife in Hawaiian History, supposedly from appx 1 to 1,000 AD, when the people lived in peace. Is there any info out there about this period? There seems to be much info about the Kings, Queens and Chiefs, but little told about what was really going on before the warring. Please, if anybody knows more about how the people lived and what they did during this period, I'd be most appreciative."
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The Beginning

4.55 billion BC   Earth forms
4.4 billion BC   Water condenses into oceans
1.2 billion BC   First multicellular organisms appear
450 million BC   Insects and other invertebrates move on to land
225 million BC   Mammals and dinosaurs emerge
65 million BC   Large dinosaurs go extinct, mammals dominate
27.7 million BC   Island of Midway arises from the sea
10.3 million BC   Island of Necker emerges
10 million BC   Plants, insects and birds begin to colonize northern islands of the Hawaiian chain
150,000 BC   Modern humans arise in Africa
7,000-2,000 BC   Early settlements form around Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

Polynesian era

1-600 AD
Most archaeologists agree the first Polynesian settlers arrive sometime during these years. They settle on the windward sides of the major islands where reliable water sources are available for farming.

Hawaiian settlements spread to the leeward sides of the islands with shelters and farms in the lower valleys. Cultivated dryland gardens grow on the dry edges of the floodplains.

1300s - 1500s
Hawaiian population grows exponentially. Large heiau begin to appear. Scattered settlements and dryland fields spread inland on leeward slopes.

Hawaiian population and settlement reaches its maximum size and extent; land and water resources administered within the ahupua`a system of land division provide for all.


c. 1580-1600
Liloa, the dominant chief of Hawai`i Island, ensures a reign marked by peace.

c. 1600
Pi’ilani rules Maui. His daughter Pi`ikea marries `Umi of Hawai’i Island.

After Pi`ilani's death, his oldest son Lono-a-Pi`ilani inherites his rule but is ousted by Pi`ilani's younger son, Kiha-a-Pi`ilani. Kiha beats Lono with the help of his brother-in-law `Umi. After their victory, `Umi rules the Hana district of Maui while Kiha rules the remainder of the island. Kiha's lasting contribution to the Maui people is the completion of the alaloa, a paved road that circles the perimeter of Maui, thereby permitting efficient communication, trade, and movement of troops.

c. 1600-1620
`Umi rules Hawai`i Island. Son of Liloa and a Hamakua woman of common ancestry, `Umi had inherited care of the war god Kuka`ilimoku though he had not been named heir. He defeates his half-brother, Hakau at Waipi`o and rapidly unites the island under his leadership.

c. 1620-1640
Keali`iokaloa, `Umi's son, is an unpopular leader of Hawai`i. Keawenui, another son of `Umi, follows, triumphing over Keali`iokaloa's son, Kuka`ilani.


c. 1700
Lonoikamakahiki serves as chief of Hawai`i Island. Kanaloakua`ana, `Umi's grandson, rules as regent while Lonoikamakahiki is still young. Upon taking command, Lono alternates visits to Moloka`i, O`ahu and Kaua`i with his duties on Hawai`i, battling to keep rebel chiefs there in line.

c. 1700
Kekaulike rules Maui. After Alapa`i attacks Maui, Kekaulike's forces counterattack against the warriors of Hawai`i Island. Kekaulike is succeeded by his son, Kamehameha-nui.

c. 1720-1740
Keawe, great-grandnephew to Lonoikamakahiki, rules Hawai’i.

c. 1738-1760
Alapa`inui rules as high chief of Hawai`i Island. Being a member of the Mahi family of Kohala, Alapa`inui moves the ruling center away from Kailua to Kohala, Hilo, Waipi`o, Waimea and Kawaihae.

c. 1770-1794
Kahekili, brother-in-law to his avowed enemy, Kalani`opu`u, rules Maui.

c. 1760-1782
Kalani`opu`u, grandson to Keawe, rules Hawai`i after leading a revolt against Alapa`i's son, Keawe`opala. Kalani`opu`u wages war against Maui and during this time meets Captain Cook on his first visit to the Islands. Kalani`opu`u meets Cook again when he anchors at Kealakekua the next year. It is during a kidnap attempt against Kalani`opu`u, who was meant to be ransom for a stolen cutter, that Cook is killed. At Kalani`opu`u's death, he passes his kingdom to his son Kiwala`o but bequeaths his war god, Kuka`ilimoku, to his nephew Kamehameha.

Kamehameha battles Kiwala`o, Kiwala`o's brother Keoua, and their uncle Keawemauhili at Moku`ohai. Kiwala`o is killed by Kamehameha's ally Ke`eaumoku; Keoua and Keawemauhili escape, returning to Ka`u and Hilo.

The Iphigenia visits Kealakekua. On board is Kaua`i chief Ka`iana who allies himself with Kamehameha.

At the Battle of Kepaniwai, Kamehameha wins control of Maui. Landing at Kahului, Kamehameha chases Maui warriors and chiefs into `Iao Valley. High chiefess Kalola and her granddaughter Keopuolani escape with other chiefs over the mountains to Olowalu and Lahaina. Kalola accepts Kamehameha's protection and promises him Keopuolani but Maui chief Kahekili refuses to surrender the island to him. Kamehameha then returns to Hawai`i to take control of fighting there.

Kame`eiamoku stops the Fair American off the Kona coast and in retaliation for an earlier insult, orders the entire crew killed. Sailor Isaac Davis is the sole survivor; Kame`eiamoku hands him over to Kamehameha, along with the ship and all its weapons. These new armaments, along with the expertise of Davis and John Young, a captured crewmember of the Eleanor, are instrumental in Kamehameha's subsequent victories.

Keoua kills his uncle and rival, Keawemauhili, and invades northern Hawai`i while Kamehameha battles on Maui. After conquering Hilo, Keoua begins to return to Ka`u but is caught in an explosive eruption of Kilauea. Suffocation and falling rocks kill 400 warriors and their families.

Seeking to conquer all of Hawai`i Island, Kamehameha heeds the advice of a high priest and builds Pu`ukohola, a large heiau dedicated to his war god, Kuka`ilimoku. Invited to the dedication ceremonies, his remaining rival Keoua is killed on arrival by Ke`eaumoku. Keoua's death and sacrifice cement Kamehameha's rule.

Kamehameha reconquers Maui after uniting Hawai`i Island under his rule.

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