See an Old Plantation Village

A Little Bit of HistoryOahu


Hawai‘i has a complex past many visitors don’t learn about on the beach. The most diverse state in the U.S., the islands have a LONG PLANTATION HISTORY that contributes to the rich cultural character — and controversy — of the land.

Soon after Western missionaries arrived from the mainland to convert Native Hawaiians, they discovered the land’s potential to grow sugar. Soon after, outsiders were snatching up parcels to develop plantations, bringing in workers from other countries when native workers, of whom there already weren’t enough, began protesting their exploitation.

Beginning in the late 1800s, immigrants arrived from China, Japan, Korea, Okinawa, Portugal, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Most stayed on the islands and became part of Hawai‘i’s diverse ethnic culture. This mix of cultures is also the origin of Hawaiian Pidgin dialect. HAWAII’S PLANTATION VILLAGE is the only “living history village” in the state. This outdoor museum, comprised of a restored sugar plantation and botanical garden, showcases the lifestyles of immigrant laborers and their legacy.


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