Maui is one of the most popular island destinations in Hawaii, with a rich lore that continues to influence the community today. You’ll find a uniquely vibrant culture that embraces and honors the past while welcoming newcomers with plenty of island hospitality.
Early History of Maui
The Polynesians were among the island's first settlers, and they established many elements of Maui's culture, such as its language and religion.
Maui was divided into three areas – Wailuku (Central Maui), Lele (West Maui) and Hana (East Maui) – each with a different ruler. A marriage helped unite East and West Maui and the island was ruled by a joint royal family. Although the designations of Central, West and East are still used today, they’re geographical designations only.
A Richly Diverse Culture
Maui residents were able to manage their land and limited resources to provide for large numbers of people. The island supported a large whaling industry in the 1800s and became home to sugar plantations that attracted workers from China, Japan, Puerto Rico, Korea, the Philippines and Europe.
These immigrants, along with native residents of Maui, have contributed to the island’s richly diverse and vibrant culture you see today. You’ll find plenty of excellent cuisine with a multi-ethnic influence and a laid-back culture focused on cultivating a welcoming community.
Today, you’ll still see many references to the history of Maui, from leis to luaus, and you'll be able to spot the sugar cane growing alongside the Road to Hana. Contact us at 1-800-978-0266 to learn more about Maui and book a breathtaking helicopter tour.