The Black Folks of Hawaii: Muurs of the Western Island – A Retrospect

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King Kamehameha
King Kamehameha
White Southerners, who settled the Hawaiian islands during the 19th Century had a song about the native people which ran, “You may call them Hawaiian, but they look like niggers to me.”

Setting aside their bigotry, the Southern settlers hit upon a fact which is studiously ignored by modern anthropologists and historians: the natives of Hawaii, America’s 50th State, were Black people whose ancestral roots extend back to the continent of Africa.

The story of the Black Hawaiians is one of the most tragic of modern times. It is a tale of adventure and gaiety in paradise that turned into a cultural nightmare. It is America’s best kept secret.

We must venture into antiquity to learn of the roots of the Black Hawaiians, whose glorious star, now vanished from the Heavens, once brightened the Pacific for two thousand years.

Most anthropologists, paleontologists and archaeologists around the world generally believe that human beings evolved on the continent of Africa, from 3 to 5 million years ago, and that they eventually spread from Africa into Europe, Asia the Pacific Islands and finally the Americas.

In time, these Black settlers developed very advanced societies that sent navigators to explore and settle various islands of the Pacific Ocean. They reached such places as New Guinea, Fiji, New Hebrides, New Zealand, the Society Islands, Tahiti, Easter Island and thousands more.

The first people to reach what is now Hawaii were Blacks from Polynesia – a name which means “many islands” – in the central Pacific. They sailed to Hawaii in giant canoes about 2,000 years ago.

The Hawaiians and their neighbors in the Pacific have long been the subject of controversy among scientists. The people in this part of the world are generally divided into three groups: Melanesians (the word means black islands), who are unmixed Black people; Micronesians (which means small islands), an ancient Black people who are now largely mixed with Asians; and Polynesians, a people who were also originally Black but have mixed historically with Asian Mongoloids and White Europeans.


The Black people themselves are an ethnological puzzle. Many like the Tasmanians, who were exterminated by English settlers were “pure” Blacks. The Australian Aborigines were also very dark with African features and curly hair.

“The basic strain of the original Hawaiians, as seen in their color and their faces,” writes historian J.A. Rogers in Sex and Race: Negro-Caucasian Mixing In All Ages and All Lands, “was undoubtedly Negro, with an admixture of mongolian.”

These people were of black and brown complexions with wavy or close-curled hair, broad facial features and fine physiques. In short, they had the same physical characteristics as millions of other people who now live in the Pacific Islands.

According to one early legend, these early settlers named their new home Hawaii in honor of a chief named Hawaii-Loa, who is said to have led the Polynesians to the islands. But the name Hawaii is also recognized as a form of Hawaiki, the legendary name of the Polynesian homeland to the west.

The ancient land of Hawaii was much like an African society. It was a series of islands ruled by strong-willed chiefs or kings who believed that they had descended from gods.

No written records of the islands were maintained, so a court genealogist, similar to the African griot, recited names, family exploits, battles and past glories of a proud people and their royal leaders.

Hawaiian life revolved around religious ceremonies. The heiau stone platforms, generally enclosed by stone walls, served the Hawaiians as temples. Inside these centers of worship were a number of objects for ceremonial use in various rituals.

They were used on numerous occasions, for to the Hawaiian people any new undertaking in life was cause for religious celebration. The principal Hawaiian gods were Kane (life), Lono (harvest) and Ku (war).

Closely linked to Hawaiian religious traditions was the kapu or law administered by the king. It was a rigid system of “rules and guides, do’s and dont’s, what’s and what-not’s” governing events from love-making and marriage to the season for catching certain fish.

It separated kings from commoners, men from women, and Hawaiians from foreigners. It was probably one of the most complex legal systems of the ancient world.


If ever there was a paradise on earth, the Hawaiians appear to have had it. Blessed by a glorious climate, the people basked in the sun, swam in clear water and participated in competitive games and sports.

They worked, to be sure, in order to live; but there was a fine line between work and play. Fishing, for example, was probably as much a water sport as a source of obtaining food.

The people shared their harvest so that no one was without food; and everyone found shelter in the marvelous huts built mainly from the leaves of palm and hala trees.

“The people worked, swam, sang and danced, isolated from most of the scourges of the rest of the world,” writes Maxine Mrantz in Hawaiian Monarchy, The Romantic Years. “But that was soon to be changed. The ‘Garden’ would be discovered.

“Gone would be the sunny static days of peace and order. Disease, decadence and cultural shock were to take a terrible toll of the Hawaiian people, decreasing their numbers alarmingly.”

This great change, however, was still far off in 1758, which was about the time of the birth of Kamehameha, nephew of King Kalaniopuu who ruled the island of Hawaii and the Hana district of the island of Maui.

At this time Hawaii was not ruled by a single king, but was a chain of islands (Kauai, Maui, Oahu, Hawaii, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau and Kahoolawe), each ruled by a different monarch.

In 1780, before a council of chiefs, King Kalaniopuu officially named his older son, Kiwalao successor to his throne. But this was not to be. Kamehameha coveted the throne and set out to do all in his power to become king.

Following the death of King Kalaniopuu, Kamehameha aligned himself with a number of chiefs in battle against his cousin Kiwalao. Kamehameha defeated Kiwalao and thereafter proceeded to battle against the chiefs of Maui, Lanai and Molokai.

By 1810, King Kamehameha was the first to rule all the islands. Six other kings and a queen would succeed him to the throne.

Generally described as very dark and “extremely handsome,” Kamehameha (or Kamehameha, The Great, as he is often called) was a very capable ruler. He encouraged industry, promoted international trade, checked oppression and suppressed crime. His greatest drawback, however, turned out to be the faith he had in Europeans.

Captain James Cook was the first white man to reach Hawaii. He visited the islands in January of 1778, traded with the natives and was well treated. After returning to Hawaii in November of 1778 and remaining into the next year, he was killed when a quarrel arose between his traveling companions and the Hawaiians.

Legrand H. Clegg II, Editor and Publisher, July 1997

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90 thoughts on “The Black Folks of Hawaii: Muurs of the Western Island – A Retrospect”

  1. Hey, I’m Samoan, Papuan, and Native Hawaiian. I’ve gotten my dna checked and I’m not 1% African. It says I’m from Oceana, south East Asian, and Australian. My black skin comes from my Melanesian lineage which is oceanic Austronesian bloodline, there have been non African blacks in Oceana and South East Asia long before. No disrespect I don’t believe that we are descendant of Africans we came from ancestors of Australia the most distinct bloodline not related to anyone besides Austromelanesian Asians. Many Melanesians get offended when we are said to be descendants of any other race. We are our own people.

    1. Hawaiian Y-DNA:

      Haplogroup K [M9]

      This is the haplogroup of about 18% who report their paternal line as Polynesian.

      K is an old lineage presently found only at low frequencies in AFRICA, Asia, and in the South Pacific.

      One descendent line of this lineage is restricted to aboriginal Australians, while another is found at low frequency in southern Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East.

    2. Look it up, those aborigoanal astrualians are actually black Africans it’s been proven that the first sea faring people were black Africans look at the andamanese and others like them, the first human found in the Americas was a black woman from a tribe of sea faring black people who also made stops in Hawaii and Easter island before any other group of people were even on the island, but look at their descendants today they don’t look black at all but they’re her descendants proven through a DNA test. So it has been proven that the first Hawaiians were Black Africans, the reason most people deny it is because they don’t know the facts or they’ve been taught to hate there African ancestry. We are the first humans everywhere due to many African tribes migrating out of African through out the entire world including Hawaii, you people can use phenotypes to try and disprove facts, but since those first Africans blood would definitely be diluted due to interbreeding with Europeans and Asians who inhabited the land long after Africans had made it their home. But facts are that the original “Polynesians” were Africans no doubt.

    3. You are among the sincerely ignorant. There is only one “black”. Be Samoan or anything else you choose, you have the Black African genealogy. If you would realize what you are attempting to disown, your original people who gave mankind its first civilization, you might take a more intellectual stand. You have much to be proud of in this world. Who stand out in music,inventions, athletics,etc.? There is no wrong in accepting your ethnicity, but you shouldn’t deny it’s basis. I know that if you took time to study African cultures, you would find similarities in yours. For example, “aloha”.

    4. Yes, you are your own tribe. Yet remember, all the people on this earth descend from Black people and yes the Australian Blacks are the very first Blacks on the planet.

    5. Vili

      Over 50,000 years since your ancestors left Africa — your Haplogroups or haplotype have changed and mutated — and no longer resembles present day African Blood groups

      But in the past ALL blood Haplogroups came from African and branched out like the roots of a tree

      Stop with this self-hate

      Evolve from colonial brainwashing

      Black is Beautiful and Blessed and came from Africa

      Give me a break! you look African – phenotypically – if not genotypically – and your ancestors came from Africa like everyone around the world

      Please go to a KKK march in the Deep South of US and you will find out your Negroid race status as white albinos call you the N word and assert that they are better than us because they have bless melanin and are more prone to skin cancer

  2. Robert Maui and Jahdey, new studies suggest that Australoid Black Melanesians are many years older than African lineage, and that Oceanic tribes derived from the much older Australian brothers moved east from Australia and not Africa. Dr. Rebecca Cann also disproves the old theory by sampling mitochondrial DNA from 112 full blooded Aboriginal Australians and proves that the mItochondrial DNA is much older than the African mitochondrial sampling by 400,000 years with 2 DISTINCT lineages not found anywhere else, 1% to no relation to any other bloodline besides Oceanic tribes deriving from SE Asia or the original Maharlikan Kingdom, some traces also found in south Western part of South America but barely enough to make a dent. There are 10 tests from Australian scientists that also coencide with this new theory.

    1. Read the Bible and it will tell you we all came from Adam and Eve in AfricA
      or listen to scientists and they will tell you we came evolved from Apes in Africa. Either way AFRICA is everyone’s MOTHERLAND. This being said is truth it’s not telling u to not be prideful or deny a specific part or more prominent part of your ancestry.

      There was first breath in Africa well actually the earth was one land mass before it broke apart into continents and than travel worldwide.

      1. Africa is NOT everyones homeland Dumb Nigga! Not everyone swallowed the koolaid that your white Massas beat thru yout head, so africa is not eryones homeland! All indigenous people worship their own gods, and are indigenous to their own very dpecific homelands and territories! Most of their gods are far older and more powerful than Gay Jesus you Idiot!

    2. Hawians and all of the people of the black and brown skin people of the south pacific , are all originally from the mother country Africa the oldest continent. White people have fooled the world with there bull crap lies

    3. The very first Blacks on this planet (from 76,000,000,000,000 years ago) had straight hair and looked like the Aborigines (Koori). The sub-Saharan Blacks are a product of the scientist, Shabazz, who took his family and other followers into the tropical areas of Africa to create another type of people. That was 50,000 years ago.

  3. I have heard a lot of good things but I’m gonna go with the latest (DNA ) cause if DNA can tell me that 99.99 percent of a pregnancy that it is my child, then DNA is the most correct and until another science can prove more accurate I will live with DNA. It prove to be right for me again exceptance is the key to my problem of Identifing with my origins.

  4. Yes, you are your own tribe. Yet remember, all the people on this earth descend from Black people and yes the Australian Blacks are the very first Blacks on the planet.

  5. It was unnecessary to call him a dumb nigger. And no, my Jesus is not gay. Who lied to you? The garden of eden in the book of Genesis in the Bible was in Africa next to the 3 rivers mentioned. One being the Euphrates river. You are sadly miseducated. Just because white people have trained us to hate Africa and everything that is Black does not make it true. I don’t even drink koolaid. You need to learn your true history. The original Canaanites in the Bible were black. Yes, Blacks are God’s chosen people that have been in the bondage of slavery. Read your Bible, and learn your true anxient Egyptian history. You are a black king, not a pauper.

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