1.1 historical A Pacific Islander employed as an indentured laborer in Australia, especially in the sugar and cotton plantations of Queensland.
- Kanakas had been aboard the first exploration and trading ships to reach the Pacific Northwest Coast.
- During the late 1860s and early 1870s, "recruiters" ranged the South Seas in search of kanakas to work Queensland sugar and cotton plantations.
- Concurrently several of us were off the map hanging with the kanakas out in the Sandwich Islands.
Hawaiian, literally 'man'.
For editors and proofreaders
Definition of kanaka in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.