South of Easter Island an exploring canoe might find winds upon which to reach eastward. Beyond Easter Island, winds and current begin a long curve toward the northeast that would carry a canoe to Peru. Off Peru, the current wheels to the northwest under the Southeast Tradewinds. With such prevailing winds, a swift canoe might sail to Peru and return to Polynesia in less time than a raft could sail one way.
Wherever Polynesians explored and established new settlements, they carried an ancient memory of an original homeland in the west. The name, Havaiki, may refer to Savai'i in Samoa, or some place farther west. It was given to Havai'i (later Ra'iatea), and Hawai'i. After death, many believed their spirits would leap from the westernmost point of their island and fly back to the ancient homeland of their ancestors.
Of the first Hawaiians, we know only that they were Polynesians, possibly from the Marquesas Islands two thousand miles away, and we know them only through archaeology. Their names and traditions are lost, obliterated by high status chiefs who arrived perhaps a thousand years later from the leeward Tahitian islands of Ra'iatea, Bora Bora and Huahine. With these new rulers the Hawaiian traditions begin. Histories are composed by conquerors.