Thousands of miles away from their home in Texas, two Americans are watching the sun set on a Hawaiian beach. But as the light slowly disappears below the horizon, a beam catches something strange on a nearby rock – and it illuminates a secret that has remained hidden for hundreds of years.
Today, the Hawaiian archipelago is part of the United States, with almost one million people currently living in the Honolulu metropolitan area alone. However, Hawaii’s history is somewhat different to that of mainland America, which sits some 2,400 miles away. For starters, the first island settlers are thought to have arrived centuries before colonial America was established, with the new inhabitants likely coming from the Marquesas Islands in around 300 AD.
Then, over the years, explorers from other Polynesian islands arrived in what is now Hawaii and settled across the scattered island chain. By the time that the Europeans arrived on Hawaii in the 18th century, then, a complex society with a rich culture had already been established for a considerable period of time.