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The Story of Hawaii Museum is a singular and unique experience that combines history, geography, cartography and historical artifacts of the Hawaiian Islands to create a wonderfully educational and entertaining experience. The museum provides an overview and orientation to Hawaii and the many peoples and nations who have helped to shape her heritage.

The museum covers periods and subjects ranging from the daring exploits of Polynesian navigators of pre-history to the maps of the islands made by early explorers, the Monarchy, Territorial days, World War II, Statehood and the Golden Era of the Matson Cruise Line.

The highlight of the new location at the first level of Queen Kaahumanu Center in Kahului is an expanded display about the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor including a rare Japanese war situation room map and an initial draft of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy" address to the nation.

Join us at our illustrious museum during your visit to Maui or browse our website now to purchase a fine-art giclee reproduction of our antique maps or vintage prints.

Learn the real Story of Hawaii and own a part of her past!

Polynesian Voyagers: The First Pacific Navigators

Polynesian Migration Cram Hawaii Hon Harbor Inset

The story of how Hawai'i found its place on the map in the mid-Pacific is a tale filled with discovery, adventure and conflict.

When European explorers first entered the Pacific, they found that the great ocean had already been mastered by navigators whose nautical skills rivaled their own: the Polynesians. The presence of the Polynesians throughout the ocean's isles was testimony to an extraordinary seafaring heritage.

Starting from islands near Southeast Asia around 2500 BC the early peoples of the Pacific had island-hopped until they reached the Tonga and Samoa groups about a thousand years later.

When driven from an island by overpopulation, famine or defeat in battle, Polynesians would set off to colonize new lands: sometimes sending exploring parties ahead, sometimes simply trusting fate and their own exceptional abilities to lead them to their destination. They were not always rewarded; many expeditions perished at sea. Such long voyages were planned months in advance.

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