What Are the Natives of Hawaii Called?

Native Hawaiians are sometimes referred to by others as native Pacific Islanders. However, they usually refer to themselves as “kanaka maoli,” and non-native people who are born in Hawaii are referred to as “locals.”

The native Hawaiians are descendants of the Polynesian people who first inhabited the islands. There are certain genealogical traits that they share, such as similar languages, physical characteristics and lifestyles. It is thought that the first inhabitants may have come from the Marquesas Islands in the third century, followed by the Tahitians, who later embarked on a conquest of the islands and defeated the local people.