HONOLULU (KHON2) – In Hawaiʻi, names are very important. 

Do you know the meaning of the street you live on? 

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Our weekly “Aloha Authentic” segment highlights various streets across the islands so we can dig into those names; and in turn, learn something new about Hawaiʻi and our history. 

This week, we take our attention to what is nicknamed the “Garden Isle.” 

In the ahupuaʻa of Honolulu, which lies in the moku of Kona here on the island of Oʻahu, stands a street given the name our neighbor island and the oldest. 

We’re talking about Kauaʻi Street.

At approximately 5 million years old, the island of Kauaʻi is the oldest of the eight main Hawaiian islands.

In January of 1778, Captain James Cook became the first foreigner, or haole, to arrive in Hawaiʻi.

After sailing past the island of Oʻahu two days prior, he landed on the shores of Waimea, Kauaʻi.

As Kauaʻi was the first island to be exposed to the western world, it became the last to be included into the Hawaiian Kingdom.

The conquest of King Kamehameha I to unify all the Hawaiian Islands under his rule included victories via battle.

But, when it came to the islands of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau, nicknamed the “Unconquered Kingdom,” victory took a different path.

King Kamehameha I did try to invade Kauaʻi on two separate occasions but was unsuccessful on both.

A storm swamped many of the king’s canoes on his first attempt and an epidemic rampaged his second.

In an effort to prevent death of his people, Kauaʻi’s King Kaumualiʻi agreed to peacefully relinquish his sovereignty.

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As a result, in 1810, King Kamehameha I solidified the Hawaiian Kingdom with the inclusion of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau, but allowed Kaumualiʻi to remain as king and continue his responsibilities as head of the western islands. 

Did you know?  Now you do!