Lono is the Hawaiian god of peace. He was said to have down to Earth on a rainbow. A four-month festival, Makahiki, was held every year in his honour, during which war and unnecessary work were forbidden. As Cook’s first visit occurred during this festival, his pleasant reception may have been due to the embargo on fighting. His subsequent appearance was not so well timed.
Hunter S Thompson wrote a book about his visit to Hawaii, when he believed himself to be Lono reincarnated: The Curse of Lono.