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is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at 727 square miles (1883 kmp). Native Hawaiian tradition gives the origin of the island's name in the legend of Hawai`iloa, the Polynesian navigator attributed with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. The story relates how he named the island of Maui after his son who in turn was named for the demi-god Maui. According to legend, the demi-god Maui raised all the Hawaiian Islands from the sea. The Island of Maui is also called the "Valley Isle" for the large fertile isthmus between its two volcanoes. Maui is part of the State of Hawai and is the largest island in Maui County. The island had a resident population of 117,644 in 2000?third within the state behind the islands of O`ahu and Hawai`i.
The population is diverse, with many ethnic groups having originally arrived in the islands to work sugar cane and pineapple plantations from countries of the Western Pacific rim. Maui is part of Maui County, the other islands comprising the county being Lnai, Kaho?olawe, and Moloka?i. The larger towns on Maui Island include Kahului, Wailuku, Lhain, and Khei. See Maui County for a list of towns.
Maui welcomed 2,225,060 tourists in 2002. The main tourism centres are Lahaina to Kapalua and K?hei-Wailea, each of which has several luxury resort hotels. Whereas Oahu is most popular with Japanese tourists, Maui tends to appeal especially to visitors from the US mainland and Canada.
Maui is a leading ......