Here in History Titles, I’ll yield the floor. Who better to introduce the very strange business of Hawai’i’s first contact with the outside world than England’s Great Navigator (and Master of Cross-Cultural Kerfuffle), Captain James Cook! With his quixotic debut at Kealakekua Bay, this madcap character established an enduring pattern for Hawai’i’s relationship with the modern world. The pattern is one in which Hawaiians found themselves repeatedly hornswoggled by clever outsiders who dismissed them as savages at worst and naïve, good-natured rustics at best. They were too clever by half.
Pūʻali ka hau nui i ka hau iki. – The big hau tree has a groove worn into it by little hau tree. (Said when a child nearly wears out the patience of the adult in charge of him, or of a large company of warriors discomfited by a small one.)
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