Hinterlands and mobile courts of the Hawai`i Island state

  • Robert Hommon United States National Park Service (retired)


The eighteenth century Hawai`i Island state included more than 400 local communities divided among six districts, each with a resident elite. The king’s mobile court of as many as a thousand people frequently moved from one highly productive district core to another. The “capital” was wherever the king resided. Broadly speaking, hinterlands were where the court was not. Hinterland residents included both commoners who provided nearly all the kingdom’s labour and government officials with whom they negotiated the payment of tax in kind. Commoners also negotiated double title to their lands in the form of both inheritance from parents and grants by resident officials.

How to Cite
Hommon, R. (2020) “Hinterlands and mobile courts of the Hawai`i Island state”, Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 11(1), pp. 21-26. Available at: https://pacificarchaeology.org/index.php/journal/article/view/289 (Accessed: 1December2021).
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