Monday, April 18, 2011

Native Hawaiians

My apologies to everyone who was looking for my "N" post on Saturday. For the first time during the A to Z Challenge, I didn't get my post written and posted on the day that was scheduled. However, I decided to post it today along with the "O" post. My Saturday turned into a "G" day for GARDENING - which I spent all day doing! So here goes with "N."

N is for Native Hawaiians. There aren't very many who can claim pure Hawaiian blood. In fact, estimates are that there are less than 8,000 pure Hawaiians alive today. This means that native Hawaiians are a minority in their own land.

In 1778 When Captain James Cook arrived in Hawaii there were between 300,000 and 400,000 native Hawaiians. By 1878, the native population was estimated to be between 40,000 and 50,000 people. At that time they still comprised about 75% of the population of Hawaii.

The number of those who are, at least part Hawaiian and who consider themselves to be Hawaiian, has increased steadily since the turn of the century. Today, there are estimated to be between 225,000 and 250,000 people with Hawaiian blood living in Hawaii. The majority of the native Hawaiian people, however, have less than 50% pure Hawaiian blood.

The Hawaiian Islands have become a true melting pot for so many races that they are a mixture of Caucasian, Chinese, Japanese, Hispanic, Filipino and many, many more.

We had the privilege of meeting a number of pure Hawaiians, some helped with the search for our son and some we met later. One pure Hawaiian we were put in contact with in a rather supernatural way, resided in a city close to us. We were able to meet him and see the original journal of one of the first missionaries who landed on the islands.

We met another pure Hawaiian in the airport as we were about to embark upon one of our trips to Hawaii. He looked "Hawaiian" so my husband struck up a conversation with him and discovered that he was indeed a pure Hawaiian and a pastor/missionary who had been ministering on another island in the South Pacific. He was moving back to Hawaii and had been on the mainland for a conference. That was a delightful meeting and we had the privilege of spending more time with him during that visit to Hawaii.

So is it a good thing or a bad thing that 100% pure Hawaiians are diminishing as a race? I leave that for you to decide.

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