A Brief History of Kauai

Brief History of Kauai

Hawaii holds a reputation in the modern world as a premiere location for all things great– the weather is great, the people are kind, and it can be safely said that to many, a trip to Hawaii is the pinnacle of joy and luxury. But the interesting things about Hawaii don’t just begin in the modern age. Hawaii has enjoyed a diverse and highly interesting culture for many centuries that makes it distinct from other island nations. Certain periods of time truly read like a real-life drama! Getting between the islands wasn’t always as easy as it is now, so each island has something of its own history. Today, let’s take a look at the history of Kauai and the things that have happened there.

A Look into Kauai’s Past

Settlers arrived on Kauai long ago, estimated to have been about 1500 years ago, by sailing in canoes from other Polynesian islands. While they brought with them their own cultures and traditions, a lack of written records means that our understanding of their lifestyles is somewhat incomplete. For around 500 years after their landing, this first settlers of Kauai lived undisturbed by foreign influence. Soon after, a new arrival of Polynesian peoples sparked many new cultural changes, and led to the traditional beliefs that have come to define Hawaii today. Interestingly, Kauai continued to use an archaic dialect that was different from the Hawaiian language that has survived to modernity.

The arrival of European travelers proved somewhat complicated for the Hawaiian peoples, though the islands at large were no strangers to politics and warfare. One need only consider that the illustrious James Cook died while attempting to kidnap the Hawaiian king to get a feel for the strains of the time. However, Kauai was northerly and not integrated with the Hawaiian kingdom, so they remained relatively isolated from it all. Primarily, Europeans came to Kauai to obtain sandalwood, which was a valuable commodity in foreign markets.

Kauai’s existence as a sovereign state continued until eventually integrating with the Hawaiian kingdom in 1824. This conversion had great potential to be bloody, as it came after several foiled invasion attempts from the famous Hawaiian King, Kamehameha. After Kamehameha amassed a new force of great arms, then-King of Kauai, Kaumuali’i, agreed to cede to the kingdom to avoid the impending bloodshed. Kaumuali’i is a whole tale of his own, including such wild events as being forced to marry Kamehameha’s widow, but that’s a story for another article!
This brief period of tension gave way to a peace that has remained in Kauai since then. Now, Kauai is known as a beautiful island that offers the very best of what the state has to offer. Everything from misty mountaintops to finely-sanded beaches can be found on the island of Kauai, which can frequently be seen in blockbuster Hollywood films. Those that have the pleasure of living here are living in the jewel of the Pacific, the Garden Island, and can see these picturesque realities every day. Kauai has grown through time to become the quintessential tropical paradise, and that’s not even to mention all of the intriguing stuff that has occurred there by now. Living in Kauai is more than living in a paradise, though; living in Kauai is living the peaceful life that its natives have enjoyed for almost its entire history.

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