What Is the Difference Between Hawaiian and Samoan People?

difference-between-hawaiian-samoan-people Meister Afla/CC-BY 2.0

The main difference between Hawaiian and Samoan people is that Samoans are from the independent country of Samoa, and Hawaiians are from the state of Hawaii, which is a part of the United States. Samoans have migrated to Hawaii since 1919, and there are many Hawaiians that are also of Samoan descent.

The initial people who migrated to Hawaii were of European ancestry, starting with the English and the Americans who came as explorers, missionaries and businessmen. Other Caucasian races came to Hawaii from Russia, Portugal, Spain, Norway and Germany. These people intermarried with the original Hawaiians, as well as the other migrated peoples to Hawaii.

The Samoans are not the only group that migrated to Hawaii. Other Asian nations such as China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines all migrated to Hawaii throughout the 1900s. Today, the Hawaiian people are often mixtures of original Hawaiian ancestry and ancestry related to one of the groups of people that migrated to the area. All foreigners used to be called "haloe," which means non-Hawaiians, however it now refers to only people of European ancestry.

The first migration of the Samoans to Hawaii occurred in 1919 followed closely by 1,000 Samoans migrating in 1952 and more than 13,000 Samoans in 1970.