Sunday, September 9, 2007

A history of the Azores

I know it's common knowledge that the Portuguese desccendants in Hawaii originated from the Azores Islands of Portugal. Take a look at a map and it's absolutely insane how far away these islands are from the mainland. In fact, these islands are practically in the middle of the Atlantic!

I also wonder, if all of the Portuguese in Hawaii are from the tiny Azores, why are there so many people named Medeiros? (Which is a derivative of Madeira, or the Madeira Islands, also of Portugal. From what Wikipedia says, the islands were still uninhabited into the 1400s, when the Portuguese government sent citizens to live on these islands. They were, naturally, a strategic point for countries at war in the years to come. I'd like to visit the Azores. I shouldn't really think they're so tiny. One of the islands, Sao Miguel, has a current population of 123,000.

Here's a link to a flickr page of photos.

flickr: Reg. Aut. dos AƇORES - Portugal

If life there had been this good back at the turn of the century, we wouldn't have so many Portuguese in Hawaii. There would be no ukulele, no malasadas, no Portguese! Migration is often the result of hardship and dreams. It's always interesting to go back in time and trace the footsteps of people.

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