A group of islands in Polynesia, in the north central Pacific Ocean, comprising eight major and 114 minor islands, largely volcanic and coral. Its capital is Honolulu. It was first reached by Polynesians about 500 A.D. It was discovered and named the Sandwich Islands in 1778 by Captain Cook. The islands were united under the rule of King Kamehameha 1795-1819 and requested annexation to the United States in 1893 when a provisional government was set up. Hawaii was established as a territory in 1900 and admitted as a state in 1959. The name is from the Polynesian Owhyhii, place of the gods, with reference to the two volcanoes Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, regarded as the abode of the gods. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p493 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p2330)
The collective name for islands of the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines, including the Mariana, PALAU, Caroline, Marshall, and Kiribati Islands. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p761 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p350)
The islands of the Pacific Ocean divided into MICRONESIA; MELANESIA; and POLYNESIA (including NEW ZEALAND). The collective name Oceania includes the aforenamed islands, adding AUSTRALIA; NEW ZEALAND; and the Malay Archipelago (INDONESIA). (Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p910, 880)
Oceanic Ancestry Group
Individuals whose ancestral origins are in the islands of the central and South Pacific, including Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, and traditionally Australasia.
A group of islands of SAMOA, in the southwest central Pacific. Its capital is Pago Pago. The islands were ruled by native chiefs until about 1869. An object of American interest beginning in 1839, Pago Pago and trading and extraterritorial rights were granted to the United States in 1878. The United States, Germany, and England administered the islands jointly 1889-99, but in 1899 they were granted to the United States by treaty. The Department of the Interior has administered American Samoa since 1951. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p44)