Around the time of the Dark Ages in Europe, on the other side of the world the legendary Polynesian navigator, Hawaiiloa, was making wide ranging voyages of exploration in open boats. In one such voyage, he stumbled upon the Hawaiian islands. Struck with its beauty, Hawaiiloa returned home and organized a colonizing expedition, made up of his family and eight other navigators.
Hawaiian roots most likely trace back from Polynesia and beyond. The first settlers brought with them their beliefs in gods and demi-gods. Hawaiians were self-sufficient and productive people with all the components of a highly developed culture. There was a fairly rigid caste structure, though the Hawaiians also maintained a system of communal subsistence based on the natural resources of wedge-shaped land divisions known as ahupua‘a.