Archaeologists and historians describe the inhabiting of the Hawaiian Islands in the context of settlement which resulted from canoe voyages across the open ocean. Some believe the first Polynesians to arrive at Hawai‘i came ashore at Kahikinui, Maui. They have proposed that early Polynesian settlement happened with voyages between Kahiki (Tahiti – the ancestral homelands of the Hawaiian gods and people) and Hawai‘i, with long distance voyages occurring fairly regularly through at least the thirteenth century.
The Tahitian connection to the Islands is not just associated with the early migration of Polynesians to Hawai‘i. Several Tahitians collaborated with the American Protestant missionaries at the early part of the 1800s. Toketa, a Tahitian, arrived in Hawaiʻi in 1818; was a convert to Christianity (he likely received missionary instruction in his homeland – the first Europeans arrived in Tahiti in 1767; in 1797 the London Missionary Society sent 29 missionaries to Tahiti,) he became a teacher to Hawaiian chiefs. In addition, Tahitians Tauʻā, Tute and others were instrumental in assisting the American missionaries in translating the Bible into Hawaiian.