Throughout the years of late‐prehistory, AD 1400s ‐ 1700s, most permanent villages initially were near the ocean and at sheltered beaches, which provided access to good fishing grounds, as well as facilitating convenient canoe travel. Ancient trails, those developed before western contact in 1778, facilitated trading between upland and coastal villages and communications between ahupua‘a and extended families. These trails were usually narrow, following the topography of the land; trails over ‘a‘ā lava were paved with water-worn stones.
The missionaries, who arrived in April 1820, selected their key stations and localities based on their accessibility via the ala loa (long trail) and smaller ala hele (paths) from neighboring ahupua‘a. The mission stations generally coincided with the traditional chiefly centers, which by that time, were also developing as trade points with foreign vessels. It wasn’t until 1850 that streets received official names.