The Native Hawaiian tribe were the Polynesians who originally settled the area more than 1,500 years ago; Native Hawaiians refer to themselves as the Kanaka Maoli. The identifier "Native Hawaiian" is defined by the United States Congress as anyone who is a descendent of the aboriginal people who had sovereignty over Hawaii before 1778.
There are 401,162 people who identify as "Native Hawaiian," either alone or in combination with another race, based on the U.S. Census in 2000. Of these, 362,804 reside in Hawaii, comprising about 30 percent of the total population.
Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959. The state has eight main islands. The largest in area is the island of Hawaii, known as the "Big Island." The largest in population is Oahu. Hawaiian is one of the languages of Hawaii, along with English.