KE KAPA ʻEHU KAI
I ke ahi a ka wahine
Haʻa ana ka wahine Pele
ʻŪhi ʻūhā mai ana lā
Nome ana ʻo Pele i Puna
Aia ka palena aʻi kai ʻeā
He inoa nou aʻe Pele ʻeā
Ka wahine noho a i Kīlauea
Hoʻi nō e ke kapu i Kīlauea
E ola mākou a mau loa
He inoa nō Pele
"Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono"
"The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness"
哈韦齐波诺兹 Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī
Federal constitutional monarchy
Hawaiʻi (Kākau: 哈韦齐), known formally as Ke Kapa ʻEhu Kai o Hawaiʻi (Kākau: 克卡帕泽胡凯奥哈韦齐) is an empire encompassing the entirety of the Oceania regions Polynesia and Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean. The country's 312,000 square kilometers of land is almost exclusively found in the island nations two largest island chains, the Nukilani and Hawaiʻian Islands, which are also home to the country's largest population centers.
Hawaiʻi's land area is roughly equivalent to that of Poland, whilst its population is comparable to Switzerland. Hawaiʻi is composed of numerous ethnic, religious, and linguistic groups but is dominated by Hawaiʻians, Sāmoans, and Māori. Due to the fact that the empire is so diverse, the country is organized to respect and protect local cultures, even if the empire at large is ruled by Hawaiʻians. To recognize this, Hawaiʻi's eight nations are split between six that are ruled by local monarchs and two that are ruled by locally elected Governors.
Hawaiʻi's history is long and largely lost to time due to the fact that written language was only introduced following contact with the Ming Dynasty during the 15th century, leaving us only with what oral tradition tells us of the two thousand years of Polynesian and Micronesian history preceding that introduction (between 800 BCE and 1300 CE. Following the landing of a lost Ming Dynasty trading ship on the island of Hawaiʻi in 1417 CE, the native Hawaiʻians were introduced to a vast quantity of new items and technologies, ranging from how to construct larger ships, written language, gunpowder, and even luxuries such as silk and jade, however, at the same time, the Hawaiʻians would be introduced to deadly old world diseases that over the next century decimate the local population. The introduction of these Chinese inventions would lead directly to the unification of the Hawaiʻian Islands just twenty-one years later and the centuries of Hawaiʻian expansion that would follow.
Following the European Age of Exploration beginning in the 16th century, Hawaiʻi was introduced to a variety of European inventions, concepts, and cultures. Even in the face of European aggression in the following centuries, Hawaiʻi was able to maintain its independence thanks to strong diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom and France, along with over a century of developing and maintaining Chinese technologies from the Ming landing. This cooperation with Western powers continued even during the American era of Manifest Destiny, which saw Hawaiʻi allowing the Americans to use Pearl Harbor as a trading post and then later as a military installation on the promise of America defending Hawaiʻian sovereignty. This promise would directly lead to America's participation in World War II following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and concurrent invasions of Komohana and Kunalu.
A common Hawaiʻian explanation of the name of Hawaiʻi is that it was named for Hawaiʻiloa, a legendary figure from Hawaiian myth. He is said to have discovered the Islands when they were first settled. The Hawaiian language word Hawaiʻi is very similar to Proto-Polynesian Sawaiki, with the reconstructed meaning "homeland". Cognates of Hawaiʻi are found in other Polynesian languages, including Māori (Hawaiki), Rarotongan (ʻAvaiki) and Samoan (Savaiʻi). Elsewhere in Polynesia, Hawaiʻi or a cognate is the name of the underworld or of the ancestral home, but in Hawaiʻi, the name has no meaning.
The title Ke Kapa ʻEhu Kai, on the other hand, is thought to have come from a poetic way to describe the straight separating the island of Nīhoa from the remainder of the Hawaiian Islands, with Ke Kapa ʻEhu Ka literally translating to "the robe of sea spray." The title is often simply translated into English and other languages as "Empire" or even as "Kingdom."
Based on archaeological evidence, the earliest habitation of the Hawaiian Islands dates to around 300 CE, probably by Polynesian settlers from the Marquesas Islands. A second wave of migration from Raiatea and Bora Bora took place in the 11th century. The date of the human discovery and habitation of the Hawaiian Islands is the subject of academic debate. Some archaeologists and historians think it was a later wave of immigrants from Tahiti around 1000 CE who introduced a new line of high chiefs, the kapu system, the practice of human sacrifice, and the building of heiau. This later immigration is detailed in Hawaiian mythology (moʻolelo) about Paʻao. Other authors say there is no archaeological or linguistic evidence for a later influx of Tahitian settlers and that Paʻao must be regarded as a myth.
The history of the Islands is marked by a slow, steady growth in population and the size of the chiefdoms, which grew to encompass whole Islands. Local chiefs, called aliʻi, ruled their settlements, and launched wars to extend their influence and defend their communities from predatory rivals. Ancient Hawaiʻi was a caste-based society, much like that of Hindus in India.
What is known of the original Ming arrival in Hawaiʻi is recorded in the Chant of Kanawalukumamāhiku and accounts dating from the Ming dynasty of a trading ship presumed lost or destroyed following a typhoon during the Fifth Expedition of Zheng He. The Chant of Kanawalukumamāhiku tells the story of a group of foreign sailors with "yellow" skin, "great canoes," and are described as having brought deadly diseases and as speaking in tongues unknown to the Hawaiʻians. These records and the history recorded after these events point to the fact that the lost ship from the Fifth Expedition made it's way to Hawaiʻi and exposed the native Hawaiʻians to technologies and ideas that would directly lead to their colonial expansion in the following centuries.
What is known for certain is that the Chinese sailors were brought to Aliʻi nui Kauholanuimahu upon landing on Hawaiʻi Island, and in the following decades Kauholanuimahu and his son, Kihanuilulumoku, used the new Chinese inventions to unify the Hawaiʻian Islands but soon the newly established Kingdom was plagued with newly introduced diseases that greatly reduced the Hawaiʻian population and put off further colonization efforts until the late 15th century.
By 1475 CE, Hawaiʻi began sending ships southward in the hopes to expand Hawaiʻi's sphere of influence, with the first successful expansions occurring along the sparsely populated Line Islands, which allowed Hawaiʻi to push into the Kahiki Islands where the Hawaiʻians set up tributary states similar to those established by China throughout its history. Over the next two centuries, Hawaiʻi would first push east to the Pikoʻo Islands and then west into Kāmoa, Kona, Kunalu, and Komohana, with the final expansion south being into the Nukilani Islands around 1650 CE.
Consolidation and European Contact
Over the next two centuries the tributary system originally established would slowly evolve into an all-out empire, particularly during the reign of Kamehameha I (1782-1819).