The Canoe Begins In The Forest
The mild temperatures, abundant rain fall and rich soils make the Hawaiian Islands exceptionally inviting for plants and animals. However, being more than 2,000 miles away from any other land mass, required that any form of life making it to these islands had to fly or float over the ocean to get here. Up until the arrival of man, only a small number of colonizers succeeded in establishing a foot hold. Over a period of five million years, these early indigenous plants and animals evolved into a multitude of different endemic species. In this islolated but balanced world, these species developed a very interdependent and interrelated life cycle. Competition was limited and interdependence promoted survival.
Indiginious and Endemic Plants Used In The Construction Of The Hawaiian Canoe
Introduced Canoe Plants
The early Polynesian settlers brought with them plants and animals that were critical to their survival. These introduced plants and animals along with the clearing of the native forest and wetlands for agriculture, greatly changed the landscape. Archaeological records indicate that many endemic species became extinct soon after the arrival of these first settlers. The descendants of these settlers however realized that they too would have to fit into the cooperative life cycle of these islands if they were to survive. They too would have to become interdependent with the other species that lived on and around these islands. It was through this process of becoming interdependent and inter-related that these settlers became Hawaiian.