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Return to the year 1830

First paniolo arrive

Captain Vancouver brought the first cattle to Hawai'i and presented them as a gift to Kamehameha I. The cattle were allowed to flourish under a kapu that punished anyone who harmed or killed them. By 1830, wild bullocks posed a serious and dangerous threat to humans. Spurred also by the growing business of reprovisioning visiting ships with fresh meat and vegetables, the government under Kamehameha III and Ka'ahumanu saw the wisdom of importing the first paniolo. They hired Spanish-Mexican vaquero (cowboys) from California to hunt bullocks and train Hawaiians to rope and handle cattle. The cowboys spoke Spanish - "Espanol" which turned into "paniolo" according to one explanation of the term - and they shared their guitar playing abilities as well as roping, riding and herding skills. The original vaquero may have stayed in Hawai'i just one year, but paniolo traditions live on.

Read more about the Paniolo

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