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Hawai‘i WWW Virtual Library

The Internet Guide to Hawai‘i

Edited by Kevin M. Roddy

[Created 20-Jul-1999. Last updated: 24-Jun-2004 .]

This document selects and categorizes links to credible sources of information about the Hawaiian Islands. It is a part of the Pacific Studies WWW Virtual Library and of the Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library. Use the request form to submit the URLs to any Web sites you believe should be included on this site. Comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism are always appreciated and can be e-mailed to kroddy@hawaii.edu. The page has been created to load quickly. All links are inspected and evaluated for content before being added to the Virtual Library.

The Hawaiian language uses two special diacritical marks: the  kahakō (or 'macron,' consisting of a horizontal line over the vowel), which can occur initially, medially, or at the end of a word. The kahakō lengthens the pronunciation of the vowel on which it is placed. The ‘okina ('glottal stop', or 'hamza') is a consonant that can occur initially and medially in Hawaiian words. It signifies a clean break between two vowels, and is often described as the sound that occurs between uh and oh in the English expression uh-oh!

On 24 June 2004 I modified all Hawaiian characters on this site to conform to Unicode 4.0. The character set for Hawaiian uses the Latin Extended-A character map available at http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U0100.pdf Download the fonts from the Hale Kuamo‘o Hawaiian Language Center and follow the directions.

The use of diacritical marks are important when learning the language. For example, there are four distinct words spelled pau - pau 'finished;' pa‘ū 'moist;' pā‘ū 'a skirt worn by women horseback riders;' and pa‘u 'soot, smudge.' There are two philosophies about the use of diacritical marks in the Hawaiian language community - people who use diacritical marks for pedagogical purposes, and fluent speakers who understand a word's use use in context. I will use ‘okina and kahakō on this site, but will include them on links to external sites only if that site uses them.

picture of Hawaiian flag


The archipelago of Hawai‘i, consisting of over 132 islands, atolls, and coral mounts, is a living testament to the wonders of vulcanology, geology, and evolution.1 Population: (2000) 1,211,537. Census counts are conducted by county: Hawai‘i (148,677); Maui (including the Islands of  Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i: 128,094; Kaho‘olawe (uninhabited); City and County of Honolulu, O‘ahu (876,156); Kaua‘i, (including the Island of Ni‘ihau (58,463).2

Official languages: Hawaiian and English. Geography: Total Area: 6423.4 square miles/16,636.5 square kilometers/4,110,966 acres. US state size rank: 47. Area by island [square miles/kilometers/acres]: Hawai‘i 4028.2/10,433.1/2,578,073; Maui: 727.3/1883.7/465,472; O‘ahu 597.1/1546.5/382,148; Kaua‘i 552.3/1430.5/353,484; Moloka‘i 260.0/673.5/166,425; Lāna‘i 140.5/364.0/89,946; Ni‘ihau 69.5/179.9/44,455; Kaho‘olawe 44.6/115/5/28,543.2 
21° 20' N 157° 55' W (Honolulu, O‘ahu) Location: The Hawaiian Islands lie in the North Pacific, 2397 mi SW of San Francisco. Climate: subtropical, with wide variations in rainfall; Wai‘ale‘ale, on Kaua‘i, wettest spot in the US (annual rainfall 460 in.) Topography: The islands are tops of a chain of submerged volcanic mountains; active volcanoes include Mauna Loa 'long mountain' and Kīlauea 'great spewing forth.' Acres forested: 1,748,000. Capital: Honolulu, O‘ahu.3,4 

History: Polynesians settled the Hawaiian Islands between 300-600CE. The first documented European visitor was British Captain James Cook, on 18 January 1778 at Kealakekua Bay, on the Island of Hawai‘i. Between 1790 and 1810, the islands were united politically under Kamehameha I, whose five successors ruled the kingdom from his death in 1819 until 1872: Liholiho-Kamehameha II, 1819-1824; Kauikeaouli-Kamehameha III, 1825-1854; Alexander Liholiho-Kamehameha IV, 1854-1863; Lot Kamehameha-Kamehameha V, 1863-1872, and William C. Lunalilo, 1873-1874. Following the Kamehameha dynasty were the following rulers: David Kalākaua, 1874-1891, and Lili‘uokalani, 1891-1893. On 17 January 1893, Lili‘uokalani was forced to abdicate her position as Queen, and the government of the once sovereign nation of Hawai‘i was seized by Caucasian business leaders, who formed a provisional government and urged the US government to annex Hawai‘i. President Grover Cleveland refused when he discovered that the illegal overthrow had been imposed by US military power and lacked popular support. The provisional government formed the Republic of Hawai‘i, with Sanford Dole as president. In 1897, President Cleveland was replaced by Republican William McKinley, who favored annexation, and in 1898, Congress passed a resolution to annex Hawai‘i as a territory. Hawai‘i was granted statehood on 20 August 1959.3 On 23 November 1993, President William Clinton signed US Public Law 103-150, "To acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the January 17, 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and to offer an apology to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii."

1.  The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1999, p. 640.
2.  State of Hawaii Data Book 1995 (October 1996) table 5.08
3.  http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/15000.html
4.  Atlas of Hawai‘i, 3rd edition, 1998, introduction, and p. 169-182

Subject Areas

Agriculture ] Business Information ] Culture ] Environment and Ecology ] Government ] Hawai‘i WWW Virtual Library - History ] Historical Societies and Organizations ] General Information and Reference ] Land Tenure ] Hawaiian Language ] [Libraries] Museums and Archives ] Music ] Ocean and Weather ] Publishers ] Science ] Sovereignty Organizations ] Sports ] Statistics ] Hawaiian and Pacific Studies ] Tourism ] Voyaging and Wayfinding ]

This WWW server is provided by: library.kcc.hawaii.edu, Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Web editor: Kevin M. Roddy (kroddy@hawaii.edu)

Copyright © 1999 by Kevin M. Roddy. My gratitude and thanks to T. Matthew Ciolek, PhD, Head, Internet Publications Bureau, Research School of Asian and Pacific Studies (RSPAS), Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia for assistance with Web design and layout. This Web page may be linked to any other Web pages. Contents may not be altered. Note that the information contained within the Virtual Library pages is copyrighted. Unauthorized use or electronic dissemination is prohibited by applicable laws. Please contact the editor for permission to re-use any material. This page has been tested, and meets the requirements for persons with disabilities. This site utilizes Dublin Core metadata.