Hawaiian Culture & History


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Hawaiian Arts & Culture: The Expression of Aloha

The oldest of Hawaiian chants describe the Hawaiian Islands, the spirits that inhabit them, the forces of nature that shaped them and all the living things upon them as inextricably connected. This sense of connection is the foundation of Hawaiian culture: understanding that we all have a mandate to mālama, to care for our environment and for one another.

Today, Hawaiian culture may hold many of the answers sought in a rapidly changing world. The spirit of aloha – being in the presence of and sharing the essence of life – teaches us lessons of peace, kindness, compassion and responsibility to future generations. These lessons are expressed through chant, music, hula, arts and cultural practices, and through the warm, genuine greetings that are a hallmark of Hawaiian hospitality.


Stories of the Hawaiian Islands

Ea Mai Hawaiinuiakea

Chants chronicle the people, places and events that make Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi. Ea Mai Hawaiinuiakea is a genealogy chant that speaks of the birth of the islands and the descendents of Haloa, the first Hawaiian.


Puʻuloa’s Keeper

Environmental stewardship practiced by Hawaiians led to a reciprocal, beneficial relationship with forces of nature – like legendary sharks who protected the people of Puʻuloa, also known as Pearl Harbor.


The Race of the Goddesses

The extremes of nature in Hawaiʻi are often understood as the forces of gods and goddesses. In the case of the island of Hawaiʻi, volcanic fire is the domain of Pele, and the snow upon the island’s summits the domain of Poliʻahu.


Explore Hawaiian Culture and History

Hawaiian Language

‘Ōlelo Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian language, is the key to unlocking systems of knowledge and understanding unique to Hawaiʻi. You can be part of its revival.


Heritage Sites

Hawaiʻi’s heritage sites help us understand the historical, cultural and environmental forces that shaped society on these islands.



Since the first voyagers arrived in these islands 1,500 years ago, Hawaiʻi has been home to luminaries, pioneers and movements that have made waves far beyond these shores.



Much more than a dance, more than storytelling, hula is a practice through which Hawaiians connect with natural foundations and ancestral wisdom.



With good company, delicious food and lively entertainment, the modern-day lūʻau is a one-of-a-kind experience that celebrates Hawaiʻi.


Traditions and Customs

The traditions and customs of Hawaiʻi have roots in native traditions, and influences from the many cultures who came from afar to call Hawaiʻi home.


Hawaiian Film

Hawaiʻi’s status as an unparalleled destination with fascinating cultures and natural beauty beyond compare hasn’t been missed by the TV and film industries. Since the early days of cinema in the early 1900s, over 100 feature films have been shot in Hawaiʻi.


Mālama Hawaiʻi

Take a trip that gives back.


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Experience the Hawaiian Islands

From adventures and sightseeing to golf and relaxation, there are lots of ways to experience the Hawaiian Islands. Find more activities and experiences.