|The Pineapple Isle|
Landsat satellite image of Lānaʻi.
Location in the state of Hawaiʻi.
|Area||140.5 sq mi (364 km2)|
|Rank||6th largest Hawaiian Island|
|Max elevation||3,366 ft (1,026 m)|
|Population||3,102 (as of 2010)|
|Density||23/sq. mi. (9/km²)|
|Flower||Kaunaʻoa (Cuscuta sandwichiana)|
Lānaʻi (pron.: //; Hawaiian: [laːˈnɐʔi] or [naːˈnɐʔi]) is the sixth-largest of the Hawaiian Islands and the smallest publicly accessible inhabited island in the chain. It is also known as Pineapple Island because of its past as an island-wide pineapple plantation. The island's only settlement of note is the small town of Lānaʻi City.
Lānaʻi is somewhat comma-shaped with a width of 18 miles (29 km) in the longest direction. The land area is 140.5 square miles (364 km2), making it the 42nd largest island in the United States. It is separated from the island of Molokaʻi by the Kalohi Channel to the north, and from Maui by the ʻAuʻau Channel to the east. The United States Census Bureau defines Lānaʻi as Census Tract 316 of Maui County. Its total population shrank from 3,193 as of the 2000 census to 3,102 as of 2010. Many of the island's landmarks are accessible only by dirt roads that require a four-wheel drive vehicle.
Lānaʻi was under the control of nearby Maui before recorded history. Its first inhabitants may have arrived as late as the 15th century.
The name Lānaʻi is of uncertain origin, but the island has historically been called Lānaʻi o Kauluāʻau, which can be rendered in English as "day of the conquest of Kauluāʻau." This epithet refers to the legend of a Mauian prince who was banished to Lānaʻi for some of his wild pranks at his father's court in Lāhainā. The island was haunted by Akua-ino, ghosts, and goblins. Kauluāʻau chased them away and brought about peace and order on the island, and was restored to the favor of his father as a consequence.
The first people to migrate here, most likely from Maui and Molokaʻi, probably established fishing villages along the coast initially but later branched out into the interior where they raised taro in the fertile volcanic soil. During most of those times, the Moʻi of Maui held dominion over Lānaʻi, but generally left the people of Lānaʻi to their own devices. Life on Lānaʻi remained relatively calm until King Kamehameha I or Kalaniʻōpuʻu-a-Kaiamamao took control, slaughtering people on every part of the island. So many were killed that when Captain George Vancouver sailed past the island in 1792, he didn't bother to land because of Lānaʻi's apparent lack of villages and population. It is mentioned that Lānaʻi was Kamehameha's favorite fishing spot across Hawaii's main eight islands.
Lānai was first seen by Europeans on February 25, 1779, when Captain Charles Clerke sighted the island from aboard James Cook's HMS Resolution. Clerke had taken command of the ship after Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay on February 14 and was leaving the islands for the North Pacific.
By the 1870s, Walter M. Gibson had acquired most of the land on the island for ranching. Prior to this he had used it as a Mormon colony. In 1899, his daughter and son-in-law formed Maunalei Sugar Company, headquartered in Keomuku on the windward (northeast) coast downstream from Maunalei Valley. However the company lasted only until 1901. Nevertheless, many Native Hawaiians continued to live along the less arid windward coast, supporting themselves by ranching and fishing until pineapples displaced ranching.
In 1922, James Dole, the president of Hawaiian Pineapple Company (later renamed Dole Food Company), bought the entire island of Lānaʻi and developed a large portion of it into the world's largest pineapple plantation.
With Hawaii statehood in 1959, Lānaʻi became part of the County of Maui.
In June 2012, Oracle Corporation CEO Larry Ellison agreed to purchase Castle & Cooke's 98 percent share of the island. The state owns the remaining 2 percent. The sale price was not revealed, but the Maui News previously reported the asking price was between $500 million and $600 million. Ellison reportedly plans to invest as much as another $500 million to add to and improve the island's infrastructure and to create an environmentally-friendly agricultural industry.
According to the Hawaiian legends, man-eating spirits occupied the island before that time. For generations, Maui chiefs believed in these man-eating spirits. Differing legends say that either the prophet Lanikāula drove the spirits from the island or the unruly Maui prince Kauluāʻau accomplished that heroic feat. The more popular myth is that the mischievous Kauluāʻau pulled up every breadfruit tree (ʻulu) (Artocarpus altilis) he could find on Maui. Finally his father, Kakaʻalaneo had to banish him to Lānaʻi, expecting him not to survive in that hostile place. However Kauluāʻau outwitted the spirits and drove them from the island. The chief looked across the channel from Maui and saw that his son's fire continued to burn nightly on the shore, and he sent a canoe to Lānaʻi to bring the prince back, redeemed by his courage and cleverness. As a reward, Kakaʻalaneo gave Kauluāʻau control of the island and encouraged emigration from other islands. Kauluāʻau had, in the meantime, pulled up all the breadfruit trees on Lānaʻi, accounting for the historic lack of them on that island.
The highest point in Lanai is Mount Lanaihale. It is an inactive volcano near the center of the island and to the east of Lanai City. The elevation of Mount Lanaihale is 3,366 ft., or 1026 meters.
Lānaʻi was traditionally administered in 13 political subdivisions (Ahupuaʻa), grouped into two districts (mokuoloko): kona (Leeward) and koolau (Windward). The ahupuaʻa are listed below, in clockwise sequence, and with original area figures in acres, starting in the northwest of the island.
Kamoku hosts the largest share of population, because the bigger part of Lānaʻi City falls into it. Parts of Lanaʻi City stretch to Kaa and Paomai. As of 2010, the remaining ahupuaʻa were virtually uninhabited. According to the census of 2000, Lanaʻi City accounts for 99 percent of the island population (3164 of 3193). As a census designated place, Lanaʻi City is defined solely for statistical purposes, and not by administrative boundaries.
As of 2011, the two resort hotels on Lānaʻi were managed by Four Seasons Hotels; the Four Seasons Resort Lanai and the Lodge at Kōʻele. The Hotel Lānaʻi in Lānaʻi City was built in 1923 by James Dole of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company as a lodge to house the executives overseeing the island’s pineapple production. It was the island’s only hotel until 1990.
Lānaʻi is also home to two golf courses, one at each Four Seasons resort. "The Challenge at Manele" borders the ocean and was designed by Jack Nicklaus. "The Experience at Koele" is located in the mountains of Lānaʻi and was designed by Greg Norman. Bill Gates was married on the 12th hole tee-box at The Challenge at Manele. "Shipwreck Beach" on the north shore of the island is so named because of the remains of a wrecked vessel aground a short distance offshore. This is popularly referred to as a WW II Liberty Ship, although its hull shape is nothing like one; it is most likely one of a few ferrocement cargo ships built during the war.
In Lānaʻi City, there are no traffic lights, no shopping malls, and public transportation is supplied by a hotel contractor. For a one-time fee, hotel guests enjoy unlimited rides on small and large buses that go between the hotels and the ferry landing on Manele Bay. Bicycles and off-road vehicles are for rent. Most attractions outside of the hotels and town can be visited only via dirt roads that require an off-road vehicle.
Walls of Halulu Heiau at Kaunolu Village Site
See also 
- "Table 5.11 - Elevations of Major Summits". 2004 State of Hawaii Data Book. State of Hawaii. 2004. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
- Oracle's Ellison to buy, invest in Hawaii's Lanai - latimes.com
- "Table 5.08 - Land Area of Islands: 2000". 2004 State of Hawaii Data Book. State of Hawaii. 2004. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
- Census Tract 316, Maui County United States Census Bureau
- "Lanai city". State of Hawaii. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- "Maunalei, Keomoku and the Kahalepalaoa Vicinity". Lānaʻi Culture & Heritage Center. Retrieved 2010-12-10.
- Kaye, Robin (1982). Lanai Folks. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. pp. 16–17. ISBN 0-8248-0623-9.
- Lagos, Maria (27 June 2012). "Larry Ellison Buys Lanai". Maui Time.
- Taylor, Chris (20 June 2012). "Larry Ellison Buys Sixth Largest Hawaiian Island". Mashable.
- "Lanai to become eco-lab that runs on solar, billionaire Ellison promises". NBC News. October 05, 2012. Retrieved October 05, 2012.
- Cooper, Jeanne (February 8, 2013). "Lanai says aloha to good times again". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Let's Go Hawaii: On a Budget by Sara Joy Culver (Let's Go Inc.), p. 350
- The Mahele Aina on Lanai,About Hawaiian Land Management and Land Tenure
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Lanai|
- "Chapter 6: Lānaʻi". Hawaii’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. State of Hawaiʻi. 2005-10-01.