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Kua'aina KahikoLife and Land in Ancient Kahikinui, Maui$
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Patrick Vinton Kirch

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839550

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839550.001.0001

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The Hao of La Pérouse

The Hao of La Pérouse

(p.213) 15 The Hao of La Pérouse
Kua'aina Kahiko

Patrick Vinton Kirch

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter describes an encounter between French explorers and the Kahikinui people. In May 1786, the French frigates La Boussole and L’Astrolabe, under the command of Jean-François de Galaup de la Pérouse, bore down on Maui from the northwest. As the ships sailed down the channel off Kahikinui, the people knew that these likely carried hao (iron). Several canoes then set out from the small coves and inlets along the Kahikinui shore to chase after the French with whom they traded precious pigs and tubers for the sought-after hao. Arriving home with their precious cargo, they hauled the canoes up from the rocky inlets to secure them safely away in the canoe sheds. Returning mauka to their homesteads, they regaled friends and family with tales of their adventure, showing off the hoops of hao, which they could now fashion into adz blades, knives, and other objects. Archaeological work at Kahikinui has provided a mere hint of this day’s first contact between the local people and the French explorers.

Keywords:   Hawaii, Kahikinui, iron, trade, barter, French explorers, Jean-François de Galaup de la Pérouse, La Boussole, L’Astrolabe

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