Maui Surprises: Faces

Hawaii is one of the most racially diverse places in the world; no one group holds a majority.   We are  Hawaiian, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Caucasian, Japanese, Pacific Islanders, Mexican, and other.    According to the 2010 census, 23% of the residents of Hawaii claim multi-ethnic origins; no other U.S. state comes close to this percentage.  This “mixed plate” of mingling traditions and cultures enriches our Hawaiian islands—and we get visitors from around the world too.  Maui is a wonderful place to people watch.

Tourist couple at  Makena Beach (Big Beach) xxx

Tourist couple at Oneloa Beach –my favorite –(aka Makena Beach or Big Beach)

Big Beach

Big Beach – waves and sand art

From India perhaps

Visitors at Ali’i Lavender Farm

local Mauians

Local Mauians

Many faces; many ethnicities

Many faces; many ethnic origins

Of the about 157,000 residents on our three-island (Maui, Molokai, and Lanai) Maui County, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders now comprise only 10.5% of the population (

According to Sam L. No’eau Warner in “The Movement to Revitalize Hawaiian Language and Culture,” ” The Hawaiian people thrived for 1,000 years after migrating to Hawai’i in the eighth century (Beechert 1985).  They had developed highly organized social systems, and upon contact with Europeans in 1778, the Hawaiian population was estimated to be 800,000 (Stannard 1989). . . . By 1878, only 47,5000 Hawaiians still remained (Schmitt 1968). . . .

Hawaiians were economically self-sufficient.  They also had a highly developed religious system, which, together with their understanding of the natural environment, nurtured and protected the natural resources . . . Although unwritten, Hawaiian at that time was a sophisticated language with a long and rich tradition of oral literature. . . .

Initially, contact with Westerners resulted in the death of 80% [growing to 94%] of the Hawaiian population through introduced diseases (Stannard 1989).

The present ethnic mix of Maui is the result of migrant sugarcane and pineapple workers especially during the mid-to-late 1800s.”   Even today, immigrants come to work in the fields and seek a better life for their children; now most are from other Pacific islands and from Mexico.  Children of immigrants lead our Maui businesses and government, and Maui faces show the rich ethnic diversity of its people.

Queen Ka'ahumanu Mall shoppers

Queen Ka’ahumanu Mall shoppers

On the way to the food court

On the way to the food court

Kids watching hula

Kids watching hula

Waiting at the mall

Waiting at the mall

Painter with small Lahaina shop.

Artist from Central America in his Lahaina gallery.

Pensive man in Lahaina

Pensive man in Lahaina

Waiting young woman and wooden sea captain

Waiting young woman and wooden sea captain

Happy visitors

Happy visitors

Plodding workers in Lahaina

Local workers in Lahaina

Visitors from N.Y.

Visitors from N.Y.


Observers at an endangered Hawksbill turtle nest excavation on Big Beach

Wailuku First Friday

Wailuku First Friday

T-shirt vendor at Wailuku First Friday

T-shirt vendor at Wailuku First Friday

Henna tattoo

Henna tattoo anyone?

Island style hot dogs

Island style hot dogs

Tasty selections of food

Tasty selections of  Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese, and Japanese food – and more

Food, friends, and music on Maui

Food, friends, and music on Maui

Street entertainment - and  good people watching

Street entertainment – and people watching

Of course, everyone is on a cell phone too.

Of course, everyone is on a cell phone too.

Then there is Little Beach.  Go on a Sunday night for drummers and more.

Servas guest, Carina, on Little Beach.  We shared her matte and enjoyed the fun.

Carina, Servas guest from Argentina on Little Beach. We shared her matte and enjoyed the fun.

Fire dancer at Little Beach

Fire dancer on Little Beach

My favorite faces on Maui

Some of my favorite faces on Maui

Come enjoy the ethnic diversity you’ll find on Maui.

Aloha, Renée

*All photos by me


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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

4 responses to “Maui Surprises: Faces”

  1. Ada horn says :

    What a feast, Renee. That makes up for all the activities I miss out. Rich imagination, a feast of photos. Thanks.

  2. Tara says :

    Looks like you are enjoying home! Can’t wait to see my favorite faces on Maui!

  3. 推薦行動電源 says :

    I was extremely glad to locate this website on bing.I wanted to say due to you with regard to this superb study!! I certainlyenjoyed every little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to possess a appear at new stuff you publish.

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