To help answer the question posed in the title, we look at portions of letters written during the first decade of the arrival of the missionaries by various chiefs/chiefesses that were in power at that time. Follow the link to the full post – it includes a link to some of the Ali‘i letters – these letters are part of the Ali‘i Letters Collection at Mission Houses.
Related to that, there is also a link to an audio of Puakea Nogelmeier’s presentation at Mission Houses related to the translation project he worked on associated with these letters from the ali‘i to missionaries. In it he noted many believe the missionaries “just kind of came in and took over. They got off the boat and said ‘stop dancing,’ ‘put on clothes,’ don’t sleep around.’” He noted, “And it’s so not the case.”