Maui, the second in size of the Hawaiian islands, in lat. 21o N., Ion. 156° 30' W.; length 50 m., greatest breadth 27 m.; area, 603 sq. m.; pop. in 1872, 12.334. It is of volcanic formation, and consists of two mountains connected by an isthmus. East Maui is the larger. Its chief summit, Hale-a-ka-la (" house of the sun "), is 10,200 ft. high, and contains a crater 27 m. in circumference and 2,000 ft. deep. Abundant undecomposed lavas are found in it, but no tradition remains of its activity. The mountain is very regular in its slopes, which vary from 8° to 10°, and are the steeper on the windward or N. E. side, where they are cut up into deep ravines and worn away by the action of the strong trade winds and the rain. West Maui is of still older formation. There is no summit crater; it has a more broken surface and a deeper soil, and the degradation is more extensive. Its highest peak is about 6,000 ft. The connecting isthmus is a low sandy plain, rising but a few feet above the sea; vessels have run upon it by night, supposing a passage to exist. Sugar culture is the chief industry of Maui. The soil, with proper treatment, appears to be inexhaustible, and there is no danger of frost.
The custom of the planters is to take off two crops and then let the field lie fallow for two years; four tons of sugar to the acre is not an uncommon yield. The cane matures, according to the altitude, in from 14 to 24 months. Owing to bad management, however, the plantations are often unsuccessful. The principal town is Lahaina, on West Maui; pop. 3,002.