Captain James Cook is the first European to visit the Islands of Hawaii. The Hawaiians worship him as a god but kill him later after a quarrel over a boat gets out of hand. Noble families rule the different islands and are continuously at war with each other. It is Kamehameha of the Big Island who, partly due to the weapons of the Europeans, subdues them all and establishes the kingdom of Hawaii. Kamehameha I is a much-loved king. When he dies men tattoo his name and his death date on their arms as a sign of mourning. A special tattoo is the pahupahu, a chequered pattern on the chest that gives magical protection during battle.

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