Bold illustrations depicting the Islands as an exotic and romantic destination for the visitor were successful promotional pieces.
Selling Hawai`i to the world.
Hawai i's most important industry of the 19 th century, tourism, had roots in the late 1800s.
Foreign businesses had found that the Islands provided good investment opportunities.
Favorable agreements with the Hawaiian government, and the significant reciprocity
treaty of 1876 between Hawai i and the United States resulted in an economic boom , new
trade treaties, and an influx of entrepreneurs, new residents and prominent visitors.
The overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1893 was followed by the annexation of
Islands in 1898 . This shift in political control supported continued investment and
growth of industry. Those in power recognized the commercial benefit to be derived from
“visitors, sightseers, and health-and-recreation seekers,” and set about to make the
Islands an attractive and romantic visitor haven.
By the 1930s, tourism had engulfed the Hawaiian Islands. Luxury hotels, bright “aloha”
clothing , charming souvenirs, and catchy ` ukulele music played by beach boys on
Waikîkî Beach these things “sold” Hawai`i to the many tourists who sought a romantic
Leolani Blaisdell ( )
Lily Padeken Wai ( )
Hula dancers Lily Padeken Wai (right) and Leolani Blaisdell (left), at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Waikîkî, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Holoku- style mu`umu`u
Holoku- style mu`umu`u
Holoku- gowns became popular by the1940s, and are still featured in celebrations such as weddings.
Hawaiian hula dancers from King Kalakaua's
court, Hawai i; Pauahi in center
Made by Leonardo Nunes
This ÿukulele, copyrighted in 1916, was made by a descendant of
one of the three earliest ÿukulele makers in Hawai'i. The ÿukulele
was based on a Portuguese instrument called the braginha
brought to the Islands in 1879. ÿUkulele literally means “leaping
one can imaging the musician's fingers hopping
from fret to fret as music was created.
Hawaiian woman with ukulele, Hawai i.
Hawaiian woman wearing lei, Hawai i.
By the 1930s, Hawaiian music and instruments were popular
worldwide. Coconut musical instruments were developed to
be souvenir items for tourists visiting the Islands. This is one
of three prototypes introduced in 1932; coconut ukuleles and
violins were also modeled then.