Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean, in Polynesia, isolated from the others, lying in the NW-SE direction between 18 ° 55 ‘and 28 ° 15’ lat. N and between 154 ° 40 ‘and 178 ° 15’ long. O. Constitutes a US state (16,759 km 2 with 1,275,194 inhabitants in 2005). Capital Honolulu. The most important islands are: Hawaii (10,414 km 2), Maui (1886 km 2), Oahu (1549 km 2), Kauai (1427 km 2), Molokai (671 km 2) and the smaller Lanai, Niihau, Kahoolawe.
- Geographical features
Of volcanic origin, the Hawaii have today only two active volcanoes, on the island of Hawaii, which includes the grandiose volcanic complexes of the Mauna Kea (4201 m), del Mauna Loa (4172 m, on whose eastern flank is the crater of Kilauea, 13 km long and 10 wide) and of the Hualalai (2516 m); Haleakala is the main volcano on the island of Maui. Their formation would be connected to the presence of a volcanic source in the earth’s mantle (hot spot), on which the lithospheric plate of the Pacific would have passed in the last 70 million years, thus giving rise to the series of emerged and submarine volcanoes that make up the archipelago of these islands. The climate of the archipelago is oceanic temperate, with abundant rainfall on the slopes exposed to the northeast trade wind and scarce on the others. The rainy slopes are covered by equatorial forests, while in the less humid areas the savannah dominates. The Hawaiian flora is notable for the enormous number of endemics: of the phanerogams, 4/5 are exclusive to these islands. The fauna is very numerous and varied in species: among the mammals, the only indigenous one is a bat (Atalapha grayi); there are also numerous birds, including the characteristic Drepanididae, exclusive to the Hawaii; few reptiles and amphibians; over 3000 species of insects (of which 2700 are endemic).
Primary primary activity is irrigated agriculture that yields sugarcane, pineapple and other tropical products, on the increase the coffee. The industry is active in the food, petrochemical, steel and textile sectors. The most important economic source is tourism, which contributes significantly to the formation of local income with 7 million visitors a year. The archipelago, a key to transpacific trade, has very important communication nodes such as the airport and port of Honolulu and the large naval base of Pearl Harbor.
- Prehistory and history
According to abbreviationfinder, the ancestors of today’s Hawaiians arrived in the archipelago (probably starting from the Marquesas) around the 4th century. AD, at the end of the vast process of expansion of the Austronesian populations which led to the colonization of all of Oceania. The Development Period (600-1100) is represented by the Waiahukini sites (Hawaii), Halawa (Molokai) and the upper levels of Bellows Dune (Oahu). The settlements have preserved foundations of domestic structures and some burials. There material culture (lithic axes, tools for fishing) shows a tendency towards a gradual standardization. New settlements arose during the Expansion Period (1100-1650): Makaha, Anahulu, Lapakahi and Anaehoomalu on the island of Hawaii; Halawa on Molokai Island; slopes of Kahikinui in the island of Maui. The settlements were usually built on terraces and in the material culture a standardized type of ax prevails, very widespread. The hierarchization of the elite classes archaeologically manifests itself with the building and expansion of numerous ceremonial centers (heiau). In the Protohistoric Period (1650-1795) the material culture did not undergo substantial transformations, with the exception of prestige goods (plumaria art, wood carving).
The archipelago of the Hawaii was perhaps already sighted by the Spaniards in the 16th century. but its official discovery dates back to 1778 by J. Cook, who called it the Sandwich Islands (in honor of J. Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, at that time Lord of the Admiralty). At the time of the encounter with the West, the Hawaiians had given birth to a hierarchical society, characterized by the opposition between sovereigns, local leaders, priests, warriors. The archipelago was divided into four rival kingdoms (Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii). Intensive agriculture (in particular irrigated taro) and fishing provided the basis of the economy, which allowed for one of the highest population densities in all of Oceania. Religion was particularly elaborate: the rites culminated in Makahiki,the celebrations for the new year, during which Lono (the god of fertility) returned to fertilize the lands. The Western presence, which became more intense from the early years of the century. 19th, led to the unification of the kingdom under the ruler Kamehameha I (1810). Over the course of the century, the Hawaiian population underwent a drastic decline. The pressure of the American settlers and the presence of numerous ethnic and national groups, who came to the islands to work on the plantations, prompted the last Hawaiian queen, Lilioukalani, to abdicate and flee in 1894, the year in which she was proclaimed. the Republic which, in 1898, approved the annexation to the United States. Established in the territory (1900), the archipelago was proclaimed in 1959 the 50th state of the North American federation.
The indigenous Hawaiians today represent one of the country’s ethnic minorities. Unemployment, alcoholism, obesity are the major problems. Numerous political groups today claim control of ancestral lands and the granting of particular rights, by virtue of their status as an Aboriginal population.
DORSAL OF Hawaii. Strongly accentuated undersea elevation of the northern basin of the Pacific Ocean, which extends along the Tropic of Cancer between 35 ° and 18 ° lat. N for about 35 ° in longitude and from which the Hawaiian archipelago emerges. The Mellish underwater bank is connected to the ridge, which is the northernmost sector. The depth is 2000-3000 m; the average of the sea that surrounds it is over 4000 m.
According to countryaah, Hawaii has the following main cities:
City of Hawaii (375,571 residents In 2007), located on the south-eastern coast of the island Oahu, at 21 ° 20 ‘lat. N and 157 ° 50 ′ long. AND; a canal 2 km long, 60 m wide gives access to it. The locality was discovered by Captain W. Brown in 1794. It has been the capital since 1820. The particular location of the archipelago, isolated in full Pacific Ocean, has made its port a port of considerable importance, joined by regular navigation services to the United States, the Japan, Hong Kong, Manila, Australia etc. The mild and uniform climate and the beauty of the landscape attract a strong tourist current, which has Waikiki beach as its preferred destination. It looks like a modern American city. Agricultural and forestry market, it is home to mechanical, chemical, textile, food and wood industries. Airport. It is home to a university (University of Hawaii, founded in 1907).
A very popular character of Polynesian mythology, also known in Melanesia. Born prematurely, exposed and abandoned by his mother, raised by marine deities and celestial ancestors, he becomes the civilizing hero of the people. It is M. who fishes the Nuova from the sea Zealand and other islands. He is credited with the separation of heaven from earth, the rape of fire and cultural inventions such as the construction of huts and fishing gear. M. also regulates the course of the sun. He tries to procure immortality for men by entering the throat of the goddess of the underworld, but dies there.
Island of the Hawaii (1549 km 2); the third largest of the archipelago, but by far the most populated and the most important from an economic point of view. The orography of the island is characterized by two parallel volcanic chains running from northwest to SE, between which the two valleys of Manoa and Nuuanu open; at the outlet of the latter rises Honolulu, main city of the island and capital of the state.
Island of the archipelago Hawaii (1427 km 2 with approx. 54,200 inhabitants) formed by the large cone of the Waialeale (1570 m), the oldest of the volcanoes of the island group. Located 500 km northwest of Hawaii, it is very rainy and deeply etched in a radial pattern by waterways. In the middle and lower areas there are sugar cane plantations and rice fields. Lively tourism. Main center is Lihue.
Cook landed here for the first time in 1778.
Island in the archipelago of Hawaii (671 km2), 13 km a NO dell’isola Maui. Narrow and elongated from east to W, it is formed by two volcanic shields, of which the eastern one, Kamakon (1650 m), is the highest. Kaunakakai is the main port.