Compared to other American states and islands, Kauai history is truly unique, rich and worth remembering. The birth and development of the oldest island in Hawaii provide and involve a lot of folklore, tradition and culture. A number of popular persons can actually be credited for discovering the island. Some of the natural wonders, products and items found today can be attributed to early visitors.
Around 400 to 500 A.D., Kauai had its first share of settlers who brought basic food products like taro which is commonly used to make poi. The Marquesans sailed from Polynesia and became the first inhabitants of the island. In 1000 A.D., Tahitians arrived and overpowered the Marquesans to settle in Kauai as well. Several of the Polynesians brought many of the plants that you can still find in Kauai today.
Westerners arrived at the scene only during the 1700s. Captain James Cook is the most famous of all western explorers who navigated Hawaiian waters and islands. The HMS Discovery and Resolution of the captain first landed in Waimea Bay, the west coastal region in 1778 resulting to trinket and food trading as well as cultural education from Hawaiian hosts. Captain Cook named the islands “Sandwich Islands” after the captain’s superior officer, the 4th Earl of Sandwich.
Cook however, attempted to kidnap a Hawaiian high chief when a boat was stolen but was killed by the islanders. James King assumed the lost position and a few years later, merchants, missionaries and diseases found their way into Kauai history. There are also undocumented reports that Gaetan, a Spanish explorer was accidentally blown off course into the island in 1542.