In Polynesian mythology, Hawaiki (also rendered as "Avaiki" (Society Islands), "Savai'i", (Samoa), "Havai’i" (Reo Tahiti)) is the original home of the Polynesians, before dispersal across Polynesia.[1] It also features as the underworld in many Māori stories.

Anne Salmond states Havai'i is the old name for Raiatea, the homeland of the Māori. When James Cook first sighted New Zealand in 1769, he had Tupaia on board, a Raiatean navigator and linguist. Cook's arrival seemed to be a confirmation of a prophecy by Toiroa, a priest from Mahia. At Tolaga Bay, Tupaia conversed with the priest, tohunga, associated with the school of learning located there, called Te Rawheoro. The priest asked about the Maori homelands, 'Rangiatea' (Ra'iatea), 'Hawaiki' (Havai'i, the ancient name for Ra'iatea), and 'Tawhiti' (Tahiti).[2]


Linguists have reconstructed the term to Proto-Nuclear Polynesian *sawaiki.[3]

The Māori word Hawaiki figures in legends about the arrival of the Māori in Aotearoa (New Zealand). The same concept appears in other Polynesian cultures, the name appearing variously as Havaiki, Havaiʻi, or ʻAvaiki in other Polynesian languages, though Hawaiki or the misspelling "Hawaiiki" appear to have become the most common variants used in English. Even though the Sāmoans have preserved no traditions of having originated elsewhere, the name of the largest Sāmoan island Savaiʻi preserves a cognate with the word Hawaiki, as does the name of the Polynesian islands of Hawaiʻi (the ʻokina denoting a glottal stop that replaces the "k" in some Polynesian languages).

On several island groups including New Zealand and the Marquesas the term has been recorded as associated with the underworld and death.[3] William Wyatt Gill discusses at length the legends about ʻAvaiki as the underworld or Hades of Mangaia in the Cook Islands.[4] Gill (1876:155) records a proverb: Ua po Avaiki, ua ao nunga nei – 'Tis night now in spirit-land, for 'tis light in this upper world." Tregear (1891:392) also records the term Avaiki as meaning "underworld" at Mangaia, probably sourced from Gill.[5] There is of course no real contradiction in Hawaiki being the ancestral homeland (that is, the dwelling place of the ancestors) and the underworld, which is also the dwelling place of the ancestors and the spirits.

Other possible cognates of the word Hawaiki include saualiʻi ("spirits" in Sāmoan) and houʻeiki ("chiefs" in Tongan). This has led some scholars to hypothesize that the word Hawaiki, and, by extension, Savaiʻi and Hawaiʻi, may not, in fact, have originally referred to a geographical place, but rather to chiefly ancestors and the chief-based social structure that pre-colonial Polynesia typically exhibited.[6]

On Easter Island, the name of the mythical home country appears as Hiva. According to Thor Heyerdahl Hiva allegedly lay east of the island. Sebastian Englert records:

He-kî Hau Maka: "He kaiga iroto i te raá, iruga! Ka-oho korua, ka-û'i i te kaiga mo noho o te Ariki O'Hotu Matu'a!
Translation: "The island towards the sun, above! Go, see the island where King Hotu Matuʻa will go and live!"

Englert puts forward the claim that Hiva lies to the West of the island.[7] The name Hiva is found in the Marquesas Islands, in the names of several islands: Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa and Fatu Hiva (although in Fatu Hiva the hiva element may be a different word, ʻiva). It is also notable that in the Hawaiian Islands, the ancestral homeland is called Kahiki (a cognate of Tahiti, where at least part of the Hawaiian population came from).


According to various oral traditions, the Polynesians migrated from Hawaiki to the islands of the Pacific Ocean in open canoes, little different from the traditional craft found in Polynesia today. The Māori people of New Zealand trace their ancestry to groups of people who reportedly travelled from Hawaiki in about 40 named canoes (waka) (compare the discredited Great Fleet theory of the Polynesian settlement of New Zealand).

Polynesian oral traditions say that the spirits of Polynesian people return to Hawaiki after death. In the New Zealand context, such return-journeys take place via Spirits Bay, Cape Reinga and the Three Kings Islands at the extreme north of the North Island of New Zealand — giving a possible pointer as to the direction in which Hawaiki may lie.

Modern science and practical testing of theories

Polynesian Migration
Migration routes of the Polynesians

Until recently, many anthropologists had doubts that the canoe-legends described a deliberate migration, tending to believe that the migration occurred accidentally when seafarers became lost and drifted to uninhabited shores. In 1947 Thor Heyerdahl sailed the Kon-Tiki, a balsa-wood raft, from South America into the Pacific in an attempt to show that humans could have settled Polynesia from the eastern shores of the Pacific Ocean, with sailors using the prevailing winds and simple construction techniques.

However, DNA, linguistic, botanical, and archaeological evidence indicates that the Austronesian-speaking peoples (including the Polynesians) probably originated from islands in eastern Asia, possibly from Taiwan,[8][9] and moved southwards and eastwards through the South Pacific Ocean. The common ancestry of all the Austronesian languages, of which the Polynesian languages form a major subgroup, as well as all Austronesian language families but Malayo-Polynesian existing only in Taiwan, support this theory. The sweet potato, which is of South American origin, is widely cultivated in Polynesia, indicating that some interaction between the Polynesians and the Amerindians of South America must have taken place. However, no Polynesian crops were introduced into the Americas, and there is no evidence of Polynesian settlement. This evidence indicates that at least some of the migration occurred using the prevailing winds. Austronesian and Polynesian navigators may have deduced the existence of uninhabited islands by observing migratory patterns of birds.

In recent decades, boatbuilders (see Polynesian Voyaging Society) have constructed ocean-going craft using traditional materials and techniques, and have sailed them over presumed traditional routes using ancient navigation methods, showing the feasibility of such deliberate migration.

See also


  1. ^ Hiroa, Te Rangi (1964). Vikings of the Sunrise. New Zealand: Whitecombe and Tombs Ltd. p. 69. ISBN 0-313-24522-3. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  2. ^ Salmond, Anne (2010). Aphrodite's Island. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 227–228. ISBN 9780520261143.
  3. ^ a b Polynesian Lexicon Project Online
  4. ^ Gill, William Wyatt, 1876. Myths and Songs from the South Pacific. Henry S. King, London, pp 152–174.
  5. ^ This meaning may be archaic or forgotten in the Cook Islands today. Buse (1996:90) in his dictionary Cook Islands Maori Dictionary with English Finderlist (edited by Bruce Biggs and Rangi Moekaʻ) has this entry: Avaiki, prop. n. Hawaiki, the legendary homeland of the Polynesians. I tere tū mai rātou mei 'Avaiki. They voyaged direct from Hawaiki.
  6. ^ M. Taumoefolau, "From *Sau 'Ariki to Hawaiki". The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 105(4), (1996), 385–410
  7. ^ Englert notes that the phrase "The island towards the sun, above" seems to mean that, seen from Hiva, it lay towards the rising sun. Sourced from http://www.rongorongo.org/leyendas/008.htm
  8. ^ "Mitochondrial DNA Provides a Link between Polynesians and Indigenous Taiwanese," synopsis. Public Library of Science, July 5, 2005
  9. ^ The origin of the Polynesians. The Economist, July 7th, 2005.


External links

  • Hawaiki in Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand

In Māori tradition, the canoe Horouta was one of the great ocean-going canoes in which Polynesians migrated to New Zealand approximately 800 years ago.

The story goes that Kahukura, a man from Hawaiki, introduced kūmara (sweet potato), to the locals who had never had anything like it before. In order to obtain more kūmara back in Hawaiki Toi gave the canoe to Kahukura. Upon gathering the coveted vegetables, Kahukura sent them back on the Horouta, commanded by Pāoa (or Pāwa).

According to Kahungunu tradition it was Pawa who captained the Horouta while Kiwa was the tohunga. J H Mitchell has written that the Horouta canoe reached New Zealand around 100 years before the main body of canoes, which arrived around 1350. Horouta called at different places along the East Coast until it was beached at Gisborne. Kiwa was the first to set foot on the land, according to custom. The place was thereafter known as Turanganui a Kiwa, or the standing place of Kiwa and the name was later extended to include the whole of the Poverty Bay flats area.Rongowhakaata Halbert wrote a history of Horouta, published posthumously in 1999.


Kupe is a legendary figure that features prominently in the mythology and oral history of some Māori iwi (tribes). Various legends and histories describe Kupe as being involved with the Polynesian discovery of Aotearoa (New Zealand), around 1300 CE; however, the details differ from iwi to iwi.

List of Māori waka

This is a list of Māori waka (canoes). The information in this list represents a compilation of different oral traditions from around New Zealand. These accounts give several different uses for the canoes: many carried Polynesian migrants and explorers from Hawaiki to New Zealand; others brought supplies or made return journeys to Hawaiki; Te Rīrino was said to be lost at sea.

List of tallest buildings in Honolulu

Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is a U.S. city that currently contains over 470 high-rises. In 2011 it ranked fourth among U.S. cities in the number of high rise buildings, after New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles, and just ahead of San Francisco. In 2017, it ranked sixth, having fallen behind Houston and Washington, D.C.The first high rise that exceeded 350 ft was the Ala Moana Hotel built in 1970. The next high rise was the Yacht Harbor Towers followed by the Hawaii Monarch Hotel and the Discovery Bay Center. This was the beginning of the construction boom in the city. At the same time business and finance also boomed. During the 1990s new Residentials were built, including the One Waterfront Mauka Tower, Imperial Plaza, Nauru Tower and the Hawaiki Tower. There is still construction today on high rises such as the Moana Pacific East Tower and Moana Pacific West Tower twin towers, Keola Lai, Hokua at 1288 Ala Moana, Pacifica Honolulu, and The Watermark Waikiki.

Below are the twenty tallest buildings in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Manaia (legendary chief)

In Māori mythology, Manaia was a chief of the mythological land Hawaiki. After his wife's brother Ngātoro-i-rangi had migrated to New Zealand, Manaia's wife, Kuiwai, sent their daughter Haungaroa and four other girls to tell Ngatoro that Manaia had cursed him. Ngātoro-i-rangi performed rituals to ward off the curse, cursed Manaia in return, and set out for Hawaiki with a force of 140 warriors to take vengeance on Manaia.

Manaia's priests were confident that they would win easily and therefore prepared large ovens for the bodies of Ngātoro-i-rangi's warriors. Ngātoro-i-rangi's men bloodied themselves and pretended to be dead, thus laying an ambush. In their over-confidence, Manaia's men advanced recklessly and all Manaia's men and priests were killed; only Manaia himself survived.

Ngātoro-i-rangi and his crew returned to New Zealand. Manaia gathered an army and set sail to New Zealand to attack them. Ngātoro-i-rangi and his wife, however, performed magical incantations, as a result of which Tāwhirimātea, the god of wind and storms, sent a great storm that destroyed Manaia's canoes and killed Manaia himself.

Mount Smart

Rarotonga / Mount Smart (also known as Te Ipu kura a Maki) is one of the volcanoes in the Auckland volcanic field. Quarrying removed almost all the scoria cone, which was 87 m high (around 57 m higher than the surrounding land). Prior to the arrival of Europeans, it was extensively terraced and used as a defensive pā. The former quarry is now the site of Mount Smart Stadium.

In the 2014 Treaty of Waitangi settlement with the Tamaki Makaurau Collective of 13 Auckland iwi, the volcano was officially named Rarotonga / Mount Smart and ownership was vested to the collective.The name Rarotonga means "the lower south" and was brought from Hawaiki. Mount Smart was named after Henry Dalton Smart, a lieutenant in the mounted police in the 1840s. Te Ipu kura a Maki means "the red bowl of Maki".


Mātaatua was one of the great voyaging canoes by which Polynesians migrated to New Zealand, according to Māori tradition. Māori traditions say that the Mātaatua was initially sent from Hawaiki to bring supplies of kūmara to Māori settlements in New Zealand. The Mātaatua was captained by Toroa, accompanied by his brother, Puhi; his sister, Muriwai; his son, Ruaihona; and daughter, Wairaka.

Mātaatua Māori include the tribes of Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Te Whakatōhea, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pūkenga.

Ngāti Tahu - Ngāti Whaoa

Ngāti Tahu - Ngāti Whaoa is a Māori iwi of New Zealand who are the descendants of Tahu Matua.Tahu Matua arrived here in Aotearoa before the arrival of the seven waka from Hawaiki.

Our Tupuna Whaoa is some generations younger. Whaoa descends from Tahu matua on his mother’s side, Hinewai, and he descends from Atuamatua on his father’s side, Paengatu. As a tribe, we derive our name from our ancestors Tahu matua and Whaoa.

Through successive generations of inter-marriage with neighbouring iwi, our tribal members also trace descent from ancestors who arrived on the Arawa, Mataatua and Tainui waka.


In Māori tradition, Ngātoro-i-rangi (Ngātoro) is the name of a tohunga (priest) prominent during the settling of Aotearoa (New Zealand ) by the Māori people, who came from the mythical homeland Hawaiki.

Tainui (canoe)

In Māori tradition, Tainui was one of the great ocean-going canoes in which Polynesians migrated to New Zealand approximately 800 years ago. The Tainui waka was named for an infant who did not survive childbirth. At the burial site of this child, at a place in Hawaiki known then as Maungaroa, a great tree grew; this was the tree that was used to build the ocean canoe.

Te Aratāwhao

Te Aratāwhao was a Māori waka constructed by early Māori settlers in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand. The craft was purpose-built to supply kumara from Hawaiki to New Zealand. Captained by Tama-ki-hikurangi, Te Aratāwhao withstood the journey from Whakatāne to Hawaiki. However, Te Aratāwhao and her captain remained in Hawaiki, while the crew returned to New Zealand with the supplies in another canoe, the Mataatua.

Te Pou Hawaiki

Te Pou Hawaiki (also Epsom Avenue or Owhatihue,) is a volcano in the Auckland volcanic field in New Zealand. It was a small, low scoria cone south-east of Mount Eden that was quarried away.

Telecommunications in American Samoa

This article is about communications systems in American Samoa.

In 2009, American Samoa was connected to the Internet using the American Samoa Hawaii Cable (ASH) undersea cable that increased bandwidth from 20 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s. The project used a defunct PacRim East cable built in 1993 that previously connected Hawaii with New Zealand. The cable system now connects Samoa to American Samoa and then to Hawaii where it will connect to global submarine networks. In July 2018, the Hawaiki cable was activated with a branch providing a 200Gb/s connection from Pago Pago to Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, and Oregon.


In Māori tradition, Tinana (also known as Te Mamaru) was one of the great ocean-going, voyaging canoes that was used in the migrations that settled New Zealand.

The Tinana canoe, later renamed Te Māmaru, is particularly important for the Muriwhenua tribes of Te Rarawa and Ngāti Kahu. The Tinana, captained by Tūmoana, landed at Tauroa Point near present-day Ahipara. The canoe later returned to Hawaiki where Tūmoana’s nephew, Te Parata, renamed it Te Māmaru. It was then brought back to Muriwhenua, its crew first sighting land at Pūwheke Mountain on the Karikari Peninsula, before sailing around Rangiāwhiao and Whatuwhiwhi to make landfall at Te Ikateretere, near the mouth of the Taipā River. Te Parata married Kahutianui-a-te-rangi, who is the founding ancestor of Ngāti Kahu.

Toi (name)

Toi is a fairly common man's name in Māori and other Polynesian languages.

The best known men named Toi are the following from Māori legendary history, who are sometimes confused with one another:

Toi-te-huatahi, about whom there are various traditions. In Te Arawa tradition, a chief who never left Hawaiki. In the Ngati Awa tradition, a descendant of Tiwakawaka (fantail), the original settler of New Zealand. In the discredited 'orthodox' or "Great Fleet" story, a man from Hawaiki who settled at Whakatane after following his grandson Whatonga.

Toi-te-huatahi II, in the discredited Great Fleet story, a man who settled at Whakatane after following his grandson Whatonga, much later than Toi-te-huatahi I.

Toi-kai-rākau, an ancestor of the Tūhoe tribe. In some traditions, this is an alternative name for Toi-te-huatahi.The descendants of Toi-kai-rākau are named Te Tini-a-Toi – the many descendants of Toi. In the part of the Bay of Plenty where the Mataatua canoe landed, these descendants were divided into at least 18 groups or hapu. Sometimes also the name Te Tini o Toi is used.


Tākitimu was a waka (canoe) with whakapapa throughout the Pacific particularly with Samoa, the Cook Islands and Aotearoa (New Zealand) in ancient times. In several Māori traditions, the Tākitimu was one of the great Māori migration ships that brought Polynesian migrants to New Zealand from Hawaiki.


In Māori tradition, Tāwhirirangi was one of the great ocean-going, voyaging canoes that was used in the migrations that settled New Zealand. Tāwhirirangi was captained by Ngāhue, and originally landed in the Bay of Plenty before heading to the South Island. Ngāhue is said to have then discovered pounamu.Friedrich Ratzel in The History of Mankind when discussing legend preserved in song reported in 1896 that a chief by the name of Ngahue was driven to flight by a civil war which devastated Hawaiki. After a long journey he reached New Zealand and returned to Hawaiki with pieces of greenstone and the bones of a giant bird.


In Māori tradition, Tūwhenua was one of the great ocean-going, voyaging canoes (or waka) that were used in the migrations that settled New Zealand. The waka is linked to Bay of Plenty iwi. Some Māori from Ngatiira, of Opotiki, state that Tamatea came from Hawaiki in Tūwhenua, and that he found a tribe of aborigines living at Motu on his arrival.

Waipapa (canoe)

In Māori tradition, Waipapa was one of the great ocean-going, voyaging canoes that was used in the migrations that settled New Zealand. In the Māori traditions of Northland, the Waipapa is said to have landed in Doubtless Bay. The captain asked his crew to take tawapou log rollers off the canoe, which had been carried from Hawaiki, and plant them on the slopes of a nearby hill. From the rollers grew a grove of tawapou trees that today serve as a memorial of the arrival of the canoe.


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.