Jump to content

Take the Cultural Excursion - The Pacific Islander

Recommended Posts

Hello, today we are going to take a look at the Pacific Islander Migration to Hawaii and learn a little history and see some stats as well, hopefully by the end of this you'll be more familiar with the different Pacific Islander ethnic groups and their Cultural & Linguistic diversity.

Hawaii has been a stepping stone for many different ethnic groups & races throughout the Pacific Rim, many of the first Asian (Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Japanese, Okinawan, etc) groups to the U.S. & Canada first set foot in Hawaii before making the journey to North America. Hawaii was also a stepping stone for many of the first Puerto Ricans, Carib Indians, Portuguese including Azorean, Madeiran, Cape Verdean, & Spaniard immigrants to the U.S. Westcoast believe it or not, many of the those immigrant groups circulated between Hawaii & California as many were opportunists. Most of the Puerto Ricans, Portuguese, Spaniards, along with Asians (including Hindu's) & Pacific Islanders (Banaban, I-Kiribati, etc) were recruited to work in Hawaii in the plantation fields and when there contracts were up many moved to the West Coast because it was around the time of the California Gold Rush & Railroad building, for those that stayed in Hawaii they help shape the cultural landscape to what it is today.

Other early settlers included African Americans which many were seamen and when they arrived they stayed and open their own businesses, others include the Samoans which helped build the Mormon Temple in Laie (a suburb of Honolulu) which was to be the first Mormon Temple outside of Utah.

For many years the U.S. Census grouped Asians & Pacific Islanders together so people got the impression that they were the same race and it is still instilled in many today, however they are not the same race nor do they share the same cultures or are found in Asia.

The Pacific Islanders are split into three distinct groups: Polynesian, Melanesian, Micronesian


*Polynesians are pretty largely built people and they share a lot of similarities linguistically.

Polynesian ethnic groups include:

Native Hawaiian, Samoan, Tongan, Tahitian, Marquesan, Tuamotuan, Mangarevan, Austral(Tubuai-Rurutu), Maori, Tuvaluan, Tokelauan, Niuean, Cook Island Maori, Rarotongan, Wallisian, Futunan, Manihiki-Rakahanga, Bukabukan, Mangarongaro, Moriori, Niuatoputapu, Niuafo'ou, Rapa Nuian (Easter Islander), etc


*Melanesians are basically of African descent mixed with Polynesian they are the darkest of the Pacific Islanders and have the most spoken languages & ethnic groups, I like to call them the Jamaicans of the Pacific as they are islanders but have African roots.


Melanesian ethnic groups include:

New Caledonian (which include about 40 different native ethnic groups & languages), Solomon Islander (which include about 70 different native ethnic groups & languages), Ni-Vanuatu (which include about 110 different native ethnic groups & languages), Papua New Guinean (which include about 826 different native ethnic groups & languages), & Fijian (including Gonedau, Lauan, Lomaiviti, Namosi-Seerua-Naitasiri, Rotuman)


*Micronesians are the smaller people of the Pacific Islander group, however they are very diverse culturally & liguistically.


Micronesian ethnic groups include:

Guamanian/Chamorro, Marshallese, Palauan, Chuukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosraean, I-Kiribati, Nauruan, Carolinian, Tanapag, Kapingamarangi, Mokilese, Mortlockese, Namonuito (Nomon Weite), Ngatikese, Nukuoro, Paafang, Banaban, Pingelapese, Puluwatese, Satawalese, Woleaian, Ulithian, Sonsorolese, Tobian, etc

Anyway you can find most if not all of these ethnic groups represented in Hawaii. Kahuku to Laie to the Northshore (suburbs of Honolulu) probably has the largest variety of Pacific Islanders, its home to Samoans, Tongans, Niuean, Hawaiians, Rotuman, Fijian, I-Kiribati, Papua New Guinean, Tahitian, Maori, Tuvaluan, Tokelauan, Marquesan, Rarotongan, Ni-Vanuatu, Solomon Islanders, New Caledonian, Cook Island Maori, Marshallese, Chuukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosraean, Palauan, etc

The area's of Waianae (suburb of Honolulu) is home to many Pacific Islanders such as Samoan, Tongan, Hawaiian, Tokelauan, Fijian, etc

The area's of Kalihi - Honolulu - Manoa - Palolo Valley are home to many Pacific Islanders such as Marshallese, Pohnpeian, Palauan, I-Kiribati, Yapese, Kosraean, Hawaiian, Samoan, Tongan, Fijian, Chuukese, etc with pockets of Nauruan, Ulithian, Rapa Nuian, Tahitian, Tuvaluan, Tokelauan, Kapingamarangi, Mortlockese, Pingelapese, Banaban, Rotuman, Cook Island Maori, etc

Pacific Islander Migration to the U.S. 1986-2001:

The "**" Indicates people from a U.S. Territory or Commonwealth that decided to become a U.S. Citizen, the number do not represent the actual amount of people that have moved to the U.S. because they are allowed to move freely through out the country without a greencard, so keep that in mind.

American Samoa: 60 **

Christmas Island: 3

Cocos Islands: 1

Cook Islands: 57

Fiji: 20,692

French Polynesia: 353

Kiribati: 80

Marshall Islands: 42 **

Micronesia, Federated States: 84 **

Nauru: 33

New Caledonia: 82

Niue: 15

Northern Mariana Islands: 47 **

Palau: 340 **

Papua New Guinea: 264

Pitcairn Island: 1

Samoa: 4,146

Solomon Islands: 58

Tonga: 8,853

Tuvalu: 20

Vanuatu: 31

Wallis and Futuna Islands: 19

*Hawaii & California have taken the largest share of the Pacific Islander ethnic groups listed above.

Samoan (Western Samoa not including American Samoa) & Tongan Migration to Honolulu 1991-1997:

Samoa: 643

1991-> 161

1992-> 95

1993-> 72

1994-> 79

1995-> 98

1996-> 64


Tonga: 625








Now we shall take a look at the Micronesian Migrants to Hawaii as of 1997 & future projections.

Pre & Post Compact Migrants to Hawaii, 1997:

Total as of 1997: 6,744

Federated States of Micronesia: 3,786

Republic of the Marshall Islands: 2,472

Republic of Palau: 486

Micronesians born in the Freely Associated States of Micronesia that migrated to Hawaii as of 1997:

Total as of 1997: 6,119

Federated States of Micronesia: 3,544

Republic of the Marshall Islands: 2,255

Republic of Palau: 320

Year of Entry for Freely Associated Micronesian Migrants to Hawaii:


Federated States of Micronesia: 938

Marshall Islands: 641

Palau: 79


Federated States of Micronesia: 820

Marshall Islands: 561

Palau: 61


Federated States of Micronesia: 494

Marshall Islands: 307

Palau: 21


Federated States of Micronesia: 396

Marshall Islands: 220

Palau: 15


Federated States of Micronesia: 260

Marshall Islands: 115

Palau: 11


Federated States of Micronesia: 88

Marshall Islands: 69

Palau: 10


Federated States of Micronesia: 70

Marshall Islands: 79

Palau: 29

Before 1980:

Federated States of Micronesia: 70

Marshall Islands: 35

Palau: 90

Federated States of Micronesia, Micronesian Born residing in Hawaii as of 1997:

Chuukese, Mortlockese, Paafang, etc ethnic groups: 1,298

Ponhnpeian, Pingelapese/Mokilese, Kapingamarangi, Nukuoro, Ngatikese, etc ethnic groups: 902

Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Puluwatese, ethnic groups etc: 178

Kosraean: 636

Projections for 2002 Total: 11,873

Federated States of Micronesia: 6,621

Marshall Islands: 4,599

Palau: 653

Estimates I've done thru research put the numbers a bit higher.

Anyhow from ESL information and other estimates in 2000-2001 this is what I've found so far for select Micronesian groups including Micronesian & Hawaii born migrants:

Marshallese: 4,636

Palauan: 1,223

Pohnpeian including Pingelapese, Mokilese, Kapingamarangi, etc: 1,592

Chuukese including Mortlockese etc: 1,883

Kosraean: 948

Yapese including Ulithian, Woleaian, etc: 543

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed my little segment of the Pacific Islander cultures and the future migration of the latest Micronesian groups to the U.S. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 4
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Hawaii's really seeing a lot of people from Micronesia moving here, there populations have really taken off in the past few years well i guess since the late 90s. I knew they existed here back in the day but they werent as noticeable but not now cause there are thousands of them a few other island groups that are growing steadily too besides some of the large ones like Samoan, Tongan, Chamorro, Fijian are the Tahitians, I-Kiribati, Tokelauan, Tuvaluan, Maori, Cook Island Maori, and Niueans.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ooh i have to point out one mistake i may have made about Melanesians they might just be a fluke by looking a lot like Africans or part Africans in origin i think someone once pointed out scientifically that they are closer related to Europeans than Africans so they might just be an anomoly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.