The Island of Hawaii, also called the Big Island or Hawai?i Island, is a volcanic island (the eastern-most and southern-most in the Hawaiian islands chain) in the North Pacific Ocean. With an area of 4,028 square miles (10,430 km2), it is larger than all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined and is the largest island in the United States. The Island of Hawai?i is administered as the County of Hawai?i within the state of Hawaii. The county seat is Hilo. In modern times, Hawai?i is known as the "Big Island" to reduce confusion between Hawai?i Island and the state. Hawai?i is said to have been named for Hawai?iloa, the legendary Polynesian navigator who first discovered it. Other accounts attribute the name to the legendary realm of Hawaiki, a place from which the Polynesians originated (see also Manua), the place where they go in the afterlife, the realm of the gods and goddesses. Captain James Cook, who called them the "Sandwich Islands", was killed on the Big Island at Kealakekua Bay. Hawai?i was the home island of Pai?ea Kamehameha, called Kamehameha the Great, who by 1795 united most of the Hawaiian Islands under his rule after several years of war. He gave his Kingdom of Hawaii the name of his native island, and the islands in chain are known collectively as "Hawaiian Islands".
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