Kapu was the system of laws regulating the people. Some kapu were the long-standing laws of the land much like the Jewish system that western man incorporated into his daily life. The best known, affecting all classes, was the one forbidding men and women to eat together.
Kapu regulating the conservation of natural resources were usually far-sighted and just. Other prohibitions, formulated by the priests and the chiefs for some type of social control, were often severe and unjust.
Abolishment of many kapu occurred in 1819 at the time of the Kamehameha II feast with his wife.
Hawaiians were forced to abandon their traditional way of life when the "white" man and the missionaries imposed their values and their belief system. The laws of the Christian missionaries replaced the traditional kapu system.
Modern man is presently struggling with many of the problems that the ancient Hawaiians had already solved. Perhaps we need to look back and learn from the ancient Hawaiian system and life style.