Hawaiian islands were inhabited by egalitarian communities for thousands
of years. About 1,000 years ago, a migration from Tahiti arrived. These Malihinis (newcomers) came from a militarized and hierarchically-structured
society and imposed this model on the people they encountered. Unsurprisingly,
they made themselves the rulers.
as a subjugated group, some of the Kama'ainas (native-born) eventually
intermingled with the Malihinis but others retreated into the
valleys. The Malihinis called this latter group Menehunes,
which literally means; mana (power) hune (impoverished
or poor) - those with little power.
adept at life in Tahiti, quickly absorbed the indigenous knowledge and
practices of the Kama'ainas. What we now know as 'Hawaiian' culture
is an adaptation
of both practices.