Origins of Hawaiian Treasures

Hawaiian gifts

Captain James CookOn Sunday, January 18th, 1778, Captain James Cook sighted the northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain, and forever influenced the culture of Hawaii's native people. Here we see drawings of the first traded Hawaiian curiosities from Cook's voyage.

The evidence of a culture is the tools, dress, and traditions of that society. Isolated for 5 centuries of culture, the Hawaiians developed some of the most artistic, abstract and functional objects found anywhere in the Pacific. Their fishing and farming tools are clues as to how food was caught and grown.

These objects are the only tangible evidence of early Hawaiian culture and through the study of them we can get a glimpse into this early way of life. When we compare Hawaiian tools with those from other parts of Polynesia, we find differences that support the claim that Polynesian cultures developed separately from one another.

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