"Before the days of the little, higgledy-piggledy Honolulu Town, there was a small Hawaiian settlement at the edge of a natural harbor, ideal for launching canoes for fishing and for cultivating fields adjacent to the Nuuanu Stream. This was Kou, named for the sheltering, orange-blossomed trees. As the settlement grew and visitors came and went, many stayed, and it became known as Honolulu, meaning "protected harbor." Successive waves of immigrants came to this port town, bringing with them new religions, architecture, education, foods, and social mores. The small confines of this town encouraged cross-pollination of peoples and ideas that fostered the unique neighborhoods that give Honolulu its character."
More about Hawaii's rich and varied history can be explored in other volumes from the Images of America and Making of America book series from Arcadia Publishing.