Since my husband grew up here, I've had a chance to experience not only the decadent resorts and twinkling beaches, but also get a bit of the "local" flavor. Literally, in the form of Ramen (and all this time I thought it was just a dusty package of freeze dried noodles with an unidentifiable package of some type of salty substance found on the bottom shelf at the grocery store), and figuratively, in the form of Hawaiian history.
I must have visited the town of Makowao more than a dozen times before I realized that almost all the storefront signs looked like they could have been plucked right from the middle of the Wild Wild West.
Take a look:
The Hawaiian style of ranching originally included capturing wild cattle by driving them into pits dug in the forest floor. Once tamed somewhat by hunger and thirst, they were hauled out up a steep ramp, and tied by their horns to the horns of a tame, older steer (or ox) that knew where the paddock with food and water was located. The industry grew slowly under the reign of Kamehameha's son Liholiho (Kamehameha II).
Later, Liholiho's brother, Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III), visited California, then still a part of Mexico. He was impressed with the skill of the Mexican vaqueros, and invited several to Hawai`i in 1832 to teach the Hawaiian people how to work cattle.
Even today, traditional paniolo dress, as well as certain styles of Hawaiian formal attire, reflect the Spanish heritage of the vaquero. The traditional Hawaiian saddle, the noho lio, and many other tools of the cowboy's trade have a distinctly Mexican/Spanish look and many Hawaiian ranching families still carry the names of the vaqueros who married Hawaiian women and made Hawai`i their home."
Well, ya learn something new everyday.