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May 4, 2017

King Kamehameha II in Brazil

King Kamehameha II in Brazil


King Kamehameha II
Queen Kamāmalu

Emperor Pedro I of Brazil
King Kamehameha II became king upon the death of his father, King Kamehameha I or “the Great” in 1819. He was not a person who wanted to become king. Had he be given a choice, he probably would have preferred being a British naval officer. But history and his mother, Keōpūolani, had other plans for him.  After fighting a civil war over the kapu system and an insurrection on Kaua’i, King Kamehameha II focused his attention on foreign affairs.  On March 25, 1820 he wrote a letter addressed to Tsar Alexander I complaining about Russian claims over Kaua’i and the role of Russian subjects in supporting a Kaua’i insurrection. He also sent a beautifully carved koa wood double haul canoe to the tsar as a token of his respect.  The tsar never replied and King Kamehameha II sensed danger in that silence. King Kamehameha II was concerned that specifically the Russian-American was still supporting the family of King Kaumuali’i and wanted to secure an alliance with the British and French to counterbalance the Russians.  (Little did he know that his letter never arrived in Russia but instead ended up in the US.)

In November of 1823, King Kamehameha, Queen Kamāmalu and members of his court decided to visit London to discuss the “Russian problem” with King George IV.  There was also plans for Kamehameha II to visit Paris to secure a French alliance to compliment the British one. As the voyage from Hawai’i to England needed to go around the Cape Horn, the whaling ship that carried the king, L’Aigle, made unexpected detour in Brazil.   The official reasons for this detour was due to the Royal party’s desire to see the lands of South America.  The British consul in Rio de Janeiro suggested to the King that he should meet with Emperor Pedro I of Brazil. This would become the first foreign state visit a Hawaiian king ever undertook and the first state visit by a non-European monarch to a Latin American country.


Emperor Pedro of Brazil was from the Portuguese ruling House of Braganza. Portugal was a historical ally of Britain and Emperor Pedro, considering himself a liberal, distrusted autocratic Russia and the autocratic Bourbons. The Bourbons were restored to the French throne after the defeat of Napoleon and their cousins, the Borbones, were restored to the Spanish throne.  Kamehameha II saw that Braganzas could open help facilitate an alliance with the British and had similar concerns.  So with the help of the British consul in Rio de Janeiro, the three day detour became an 18 day state visit.  King Kamehameha II and Queen Kamāmalu were formally presented to Emperor Pedro of Brazil and his wife, Empress Maria Leopoldina, in a dazzling ceremony at the Paço Imperial.  

During the ceremony, the Emperor of Brazil presented to King Kamehameha II a diamond encrusted ceremonial sword. He then presented to Queen Kamamalu a set of diamond earrings. However, Queen Kamamalu seemed more impressed when told of the genealogy of Emperor Pedro and his wife. Empress Maria Leopoldina was an Austrian archduchess in her own right and a Hapsburg. She was also grand-niece to the ill-fated Queen Marie Antoinette. King Kamehameha then presented a feather cape belonging to Queen Kamāmalu and a hand kahili.  Thinking that these were insufficient gifts to his host, he offered Kalanimoku and Poki (Boki) to become the Emperor’s hanai (adopted) brothers. Kalanimoku and Poki by this time were both Roman Catholics and King Kamehameha II thought that Emperor Pedro I, also being a Roman Catholic, might be offended if offered himself to be the Emperor’s hanai brother as he was not at the time a Christian.  The Hawaiian Royals then invited the Emperor to establish diplomatic relations by sending a consul to Honolulu and he would appoint one in Brazil. 


Kalanimoku
Poki (Boki)

During the 18 day state visit, the Hawaiian Royal party attended audiences and balls were held in their honor. King Kamehameha was tutored in Portuguese and helped with his English court etiquette. The Royal [arty visited plantations and factories.  Some controversy was made when Poki and Kalanimoku skinny dipped in a beach, as was the Hawaiian custom.  A group of women gathered and watched. Poki then went up to the women to greet them and was told that he was indecent. Poki shrugged and told them in Hawaiian to let them see him because he knows that they like what they see.   Conservative Portuguese high society women found episode both shocking and yet erotic. Emperor Pedro quelled the controversy by saying that there was no shame in what the Hawaiians had done, only in people having shameful thoughts about the Hawaiians.   Emperor Pedro took efforts to ensure that the Hawaiian Royals were treated with attention and dignity and berated anyone who even spoke of their race.  Emperor Pedro envisioned a Brazil that was multiracial and “enlightened”. He therefore used the visit of the Hawaiian Royal party to set a tone for the rest of the Imperial Court and to show his support for abolishing slavery and ending racial discrimination.  King Kamehameha II for his part saw the friendship between himself and the Emperor of Brazil as the beginning of a new era for Hawai’i, one where Hawai’I could be survive as an independent power and be treated like an equal.   Kamehameha II left Brazil and arrived in England in May of 1824.  Unfortunately, King Kamehameha and Queen Kamamalu would pass away in London before meeting with King George IV.

One of the lasting bonds of effects of this state visit was the introduction of coffee beans. The Hawaiian Royal party had visited plantations and had tasted coffee. Poki continued to inquire about coffee and sugarcane plants while in London.  Poki clearly saw the commercial value of coffee and sugarcane and predicted that those crops could change Hawai’i. While a variety of coffee plants that were sent to Francisco Paulo de Marin failed, an Ethiopian variety introduced by Poki thrived becoming Kona coffee.


References:
Joesting, Edward. Kaua’i: the Separate Kingdom. UH Press, 1988.
Kamakau, Samuel. Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii. Bishop Museum Press, 1961.
Kinro, Gerald. A Cup of Aloha: The Kona Coffee Epic. UH Press, 2003.

Kuykendall, Ralph. The Hawaiian Kingdom: Volume 1. UH Press, 1938.

Levels of Sacredness in Hawaiian Thought



In traditional Hawaiian religion, there's different levels of sacredness. For example there's laʻa, ano, ʻihi, ʻiu, poʻiu, ʻula and kapu levels of sacredness. Often times we will hear some say "such and such is sacred" or "the entire mountain is sacred" without much explanation. Some of this is due to the lack of real education on the topic and the fact that the concept itself is a bit tricky to explain in English. For example, during the Mauna Kea protests there was also "protect the sacred mountain" slogan. Some tied that idea with the idea of kapu--which one shouldn't. A place that is kapu is sacred and sanctified. It is also restricted to a few select people and there are specific ki'i (tiki) and mo'olelo attached. Traditionally these kapu places also placed restrictions on food and gender. In ancient Hawaiian thought, the idea of sacred, kapu, and restricted access are tied together because wahi kapu (sacred places) were at points that was believed to have significant mana. The restrictions were claimed by practitioners as being necessary to channel that mana towards the mokupuni. Heiau for example are always wahi kapu. They were sanctified by rituals. Mauna Kea is not kapu in that sense. It was traditionally was a pilgrimage site particularly Lake Waiau. It's ʻihi or wahi laʻa, a holy place. Wahi laʻa or wahi ʻihi on the other hand are places that should be treated with reverence but there was no particular need for restricted access, sanctification rituals and ki'i. The same would be true also of Kilauea. You would not find ki'i at Kilauea because everyone knows the mo'olelo of Pele. One might say that that makes it "even more sacred" but in ancient Hawaiian thought, they were not concerned about that because whether one is less or more sacred than another place. What was important was the connection one had with that place (which in turn would dictate the obligations, etc). For example, someone from O'ahu may feel a deeper connection to Kamapua'a than Pele therefore sites to Kamapua'a would have a feeling of having more "mana". To navigators, Kaho'olawe would be a wahi laʻa of great significance. To kahuna of the Mo'o o Lono (Order of Lono), the island of Lana'i would be a wahi laʻa while Kaho'olawe would be simply another island. Wahi kapu like heiau on the other hand would be of significance to both the navigators and the priests of Lono because of its ritual importance but also out of civic duty as heiau also places of political power especially after the 1600s.

Some Thoughts on Hawaiian Culture

When we talk about Hawaiian culture, we often talk about it as almost being homogeneous, monolithic and sterile without taking into account the various time frames and subcultures. When most Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians think of "Hawaiian culture" they think of it as being somewhere in the time frame of Captain Cook and Elvis Presley. Much of this could be blamed on the Calvinist influences, colonialism and the tourist industry which influenced Hawaiian Studies programs. Some of it could also be blamed also on personal or family interests. As 99.9% of Hawaiians claim to have ali'i blood, an emphasis has been to have ali'i subculture of the 1600s represent what is Hawaiian culture in general. But ali'i subculture was different from regional and mass culture of Hawaiian society after the 1400s.

For example, in recent debates on UH's taro patents and in Mauna Kea protests, there had been an emphasis on the Hawaiian genealogical links to Wākea, the Sky Father. In every Polynesian society, Wākea or Akea is a mythical figure except in Hawai'i where he is an actual person and the founder of the kapu system, the social hierarchical system, as well as originator of royal dynasties. Wākea is therefore held in awe today. Interestingly, that was not always the case in every level of Hawaiian society. As noted by Malo, Kamakau and Pukui, common people associated Wākea with blind lust, weakness, and craziness due to his relationship with his daughter. Commoners would say that incest was ‘ohana kiko moa or no better than breeding chickens. In Papa and Wākea epics, Wākea is emotional volatile yet cunning. Papa is always with him in battle and she is seen defending his rule. These were epics that commoners would have known about. Unlike many Hawaiians today, commoners while seeing incest as disgusting and shameful in general, tolerated it only in the ruling family not because of the Wākea and Papa example but because of an older example---Kū and Hina, who in mythology were brother and sister and were the first set of akua venerated universally by ancient Hawaiians. It is from Kū and Hina that the pi'o line of chiefs (including the term pi'o itself) originated from. But Papa and Wākea are emphasized more because of Wākea's association with the kapu and of social divisions.

So when we speak of Hawaiian culture, we should ask ourselves which Hawaiian culture and what time period. We should also ask ourselves what aspects of what we know to be "Hawaiian culture" were influenced by certain agendas and what are values and traditions that should be questioned and which could be emulated today.

Twenty Notable Native Hawaiian Women

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Twenty Notable Native Hawaiian Women

1. Queen Regent Ka'ahumanu.  She remains a controversial figure due to her role with abolishing the kapu system and in allowing the Calvinist missionaries to convert Hawaiians. Not many people in history like Ka'ahumanu are singularly credited with bringing down an entire religion and changing an entire nation within a single generation. Ka'ahumanu was one of the most significant figures in Hawaiian history as she served as adviser to three Hawaiian kings and ushered in public education, Christianity, and a written Hawaiian language. She maintained Hawaiian unification and independence throughout her reign as regent and prime minister and in the face of internal political struggles and against American, French, and British colonial designs for Hawai'i.  Strong willed, Machiavellian at times, charming and intelligent, Ka'ahumanu had learned several languages, accounting and accompanied her main consort, Kamehameha I, in his major campaigns.   She was also a champion surfer.



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2. Queen Lili'uokalani. Largely known for being Hawai'i's first female queen, Hawai'i's last constitutional monarch and composer of "Aloha 'Oe", Queen Lili'uokalani was well traveled and accomplished.  She composed over a 150 songs, had her own glee club, wrote editorials in Hawaiian language newspapers (under pen names), and wrote "Hawai'i's Story by Hawai'i's Queen". She was deposed by a minority of wealthy sugar plantation owners with the support of the US mainly due to her support of wanting a better constitution for her people and for refusing to compromise Hawaiian independence.   She also believed in empowering women politically, socially, and economically. She started the Lili'uokalani Educational Society which helped girls recieve an education. These girls were mainly orphans or from family backgrounds that Victorian society scorned. She also wanted to start a women's bank to help fund women-owned businesses.  Though a devout Christian, she fought against religious bigotry particularly welcoming Buddhist and Shinto priests to Hawai'i.  She was also active in supporting the Red Cross, the YWCA, Girls Scouts, and numerous charities.  Upon her passing, the Queen willed that all of her properties, jewelry, dressed, and other items be sold and those monies would be used to create a trust to help orphaned and destitute Hawaiian children and their families. That trust, the Queen Lili'uokalani Trust, still exists.


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3. Queen Emma. Queen Emma was well educated, determined, beautiful, and a candidate for the Hawaiian Throne.  She spoke English, Hawaiian and French fluently and was an accomplished equestrian and surfer. She was called Queen Emma's first political fight was over healthcare. She believed that access to healthcare was not a privilege but a national security concern and a right.  When the Hawaiian National Legislature refused to fund health services to indigent citizens, she took the step of going house to house throughout O'ahu on foot to ask for donations to fund a public hospital. She accomplished that goal and founded Queen's Hospital, which included a training center for nurses.  She and her husband, King Kamehameha IV, also sponsored an Anglican mission to Hawai'i. When the Anglican mission began to experience financial difficulties, Queen Emma went to England to meet with Anglican bishops and Queen Victoria. On her way to England, she stopped in the US becoming the first Queen to visit Washington DC. While in the US, she experienced racism and sexism (at the hands of the then US president no less) which made her more determined to cement an alliance between Hawai'i, the British, and the French politically, economically and spiritually. She was successful and helped to found St Andrew Girls Priory and St Alban's School (now called 'Iolani School) to assist the new Anglican mission and community. She also was a poet. When her husband and young child died, she composed some of the most heart wrenching  kanikau or mourning chants. She was also a friend of Queen Victoria. When Prince Albert passed away, Queen Emma sent Queen Victoria a gold mourning bracelet engraved with a Hawaiian saying in Old English lettering and with Hawaiian fauna. The saying was selected by the then Princess Lili'uokalani. This was the start of Hawaiian heirloom jewelry.  



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4. Mary Kawena Pukui. She was one of the greatest and most prolific Hawaiian scholars of the 20th century publishing over two dozen books on Hawaiian subjects and over 50 scholarly works.  Her works touched on various subjects ranging from fishing traditions to hula to Hawaiian values. Her work made the Second Hawaiian Renaissance (1970s-1980s) possible.  One of the works she edited "Nānā i ke Kumu, Look to the Source, Vols. 1 and 2" and published in 1972 was ground breaking because it touched on the impact of Christianity, homosexuality, family planning, women's rights, and other subjects that were still taboo to talk about even in the larger general community.  She also helped to preserve and perpetuate many Hawaiian traditions such as feather lei making, hula, and the language itself to the general public.  She also was a teacher at Punahou and a master Hawaiian chanter.


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5. Isabella Kauakea Aiona Abbott. Dr. Abbot was the first Native Hawaiian to receive a PhD in the sciences. She wrote over 8 books and published over 150 scientific papers.  Her work involved mostly algae and seaweed. She was also one of the first scientists to blend indigenous knowledge with Western sciences.







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6. Queen Kapi'olani.  Queen Kapi'olani is best remembered for founding the Queen Kapi'olani Women's and Children Hospital (now called Kapi'olani Medical Center) as well as for attending Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887.   Queen Kapi'olani was shy, well educated and had traveled throughout Micronesia, the US, and Great Britain.  She and her sister-in-law, Lili'uokalani, were the first royals to make visits to the leper settlement of Kalaupapa. Though an Anglican, she was one of the main supporters of St. Damien of Moloka'i (Father Damien de Veuster) and actively sought donations for Kalaupapa directly from the Church of England.  Being the granddaughter of the last king of Kaua'i, she helped to promoting the Ni'ihau lauhala mat, Kaua'i feather leis and Ni'ihau shell leis by giving those items as state gifts to foreign countries and by wearing this items on formal occassions. She also promoted the Hawaiian language by refusing to use English in the Palace and on state occassions. During an audience with Queen Victoria in 1887, Queen Kapi'olani--who knew English--spoke in Hawaiian as a way to signal back home that Hawaiian was as important and as official as English.  While a promoter of all things Hawaiian, she also promoted diversity and cultural pluralism. She was a patron of the Peeking Opera Society and attended the first official sumo match in Hawai'i with husband, King Kalakaua, in 1885 at the Hawai'i Immigration Depot. This would also be the first official sumo match outside of Japan. She maintained a friendship with Empress Shoken of Japan and sought to have Hawai'i look more towards the East rather than the West.  After suffering from a miscarriage, she adopted two of her nephews.

 7. Manono II. Manono II was a cousin to Ka'ahumanu I and half-sister to Kalanimoku. When the kapu system was abolished in 1819 and after repeated diplomatic attempts failed, she and her husband went to war to defend the traditional Hawaiian religion against Ka'ahumanu and Kalanimoku. She was remembered in hula and mele as someone who heroic figure dying for the love of her ancestors and her husband, Kekuaokalani.

The British missionary, William Ellis, would later report this about the Battle of Kuamo'o.
"The small tumuli increased in number as we passed along, until we came to a place called Tuamoo. Here Kekuaokalani made his last stand, rallied his flying forces, and seemed, for a moment, to turn the scale of victory; but being weak with the loss of blood, from a wound he had received in the early part of the engagement, he fainted and fell. However, he soon revived, and, though unable to stand, sat on a fragment of lava, and twice loaded and fired his musket on the advancing party. He now received a ball in his left breast, and immediately covering his face with his feather cloak, expired in the midst of his friends. His wife Manono during the whole of the day fought by his side with steady and dauntless courage. A few moments after her husband's death, perceiving Karaimoku and his sister advancing, she called out for quarter; but the words had hardly escaped from her lips, when she received a ball in her left temple, fell upon the lifeless body of her husband, and instantly expired. The idolaters having lost their chief, made but feeble resistance afterwards; yet the combat, which commenced in the forenoon, continued till near sunset, when the king's troops, finding their enemies had all either fled or surrendered, returned to Kairua."


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8. Haunani-Kay Trask.  Poet, scholar, documentary producer, writer, professor, TV talk show host and activist, Trask has been involved with indigenous rights, anti-colonial struggles, and feminism both in Hawai'i and abroad for decades.   Her ground-breaking work "From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai'i" has been recommended reading in many Ethnic Studies and Women's Studies programs around the world for years.











9. Bina Kailipaina Nieper Mossman.  Having been musically trained by Queen Lili'uokalani, Mossman was an accomplished 'ukulele player, guitarist, vocalist and composer.  She became politically active in the 1920s after women were allowed the right to vote and held several positions within the Hawai'i Republican Party. Her first position was that of Executive Secretary of the newly created Hawaiian Homes Commission in 1922.  In 1938 she became the first Native Hawaiian female to be elected to the Legislature and was re-elected three times. In the year, she was elected National Committeewoman of the Republican Party.  After retiring from Legislature, she was appointed in 1953 as High Sheriff of Honolulu becoming the first Hawaiian female to hold that office.  She then retired from politics in 1957 and focused on music and in preserving Hawaiian ali'i traditions through the civic clubs and ali'i societies. She was elected to the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.


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10. Clarissa "Clara" Haili. Better known as "Hilo Hattie", she was a singer and comedian.  She was part of "Hawai'i Calls", a program that broadcasted from over 600 stations world wide. Her comedies and her "kolohe" songs were literally world famous.  She was the first Native Hawaiian comedian to recieve world fame. She originally was a school teacher from Waipahu Elementary School.









11. Kūkaniloko.  She was the first Native Hawaiian to reign as the first female Hawaiian ruler of an island.  In the 13th or 14th century, her father Piliwale, decided to nominate her as his successor to the Kingdom of O'ahu over his other children--including male children. Upon his death, she succeded him as ruler and proved herself a capable one including participating in male temple ceremonies, sports competitions and fighting in combat. She resisted a Kaua'i invasion and brought peace by choosing Luaia, a high ranking chief of Maui, as her consort. Their daughter, Kalaimanuia, would later succede her as the second female ruler of O'ahu and like her mother, was rather successful. Kalaimanuia would suspend the death penality during her reign and is remembered for O'ahu's agricultural development. Upon Kalaimanuia's death the question was asked by a male chief "Are we ready to return to kings?"




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12. Emma 'A'ima Nāwahī. She was one of the first documented female Native Hawaiian journalist and newspaper editor.  She was the wife of the Queen Lili'uokalani's former Interior Minister, Joseph Nāwahī.  Joseph Nāwahī would later lead an uprising against the Republic of Hawai'i, contract TB from his imprisonment, and pass away suddenly--leaving an entire nation in mourning.  Despite on-going government repression, her husband's funeral saw thousands of Hawaiians line the streets to pay respects to his coffin. After his death, she became the editor of the popular Hawaiian language newspaper, "Ke Aloha Aina" ("The Nationalist"), for over two decades continuing to resist the oligarchy.  She was politically active opposing US annexation through the Hui Aloha 'Aina and after 1900, with the Home Rule Party and the Democratic Party.  She wrote passionate articles and editorials on Hawaiian independence, women's sufferage, labor issues, Hawaiian Homelands and a New Deal for Hawaiians.  She also met Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934.





13. Emma Ka'ili Metcalf Beckley Nakuina. She was a cultural informant for such people as Abraham Fornander, Thomas Thrum and William Alexander--sometimes not getting the proper citation and credit in their works. King Kalākaua had her appointed as the first curator of the Hawaiian National Museum and Government Library located at Ali'iolani Hale. She used the title curatrix in official documents and was the only official female curator of any major museum in the world. Queen Lili'uokalani in 1892 had her appointed as Commissioner of Private Ways and Water Rights for the Kona district of O'ahu, which included Honolulu. Emma was chosen specifically for this post because of her vast knowledge of traditional land water rights, and she was tasked with the duties of resolving issues in regards to water usage and rights. She would hold this position for fifteen years from 1892 to 1907 until the powers were reassigned to the circuit courts. Though her official title was that of a Water Commissioner, she was addressed as a judge due to her legal and cultural knowledge but due to her gender, she was not allowed to take the law exam. Yet she advised even members of the Hawai'i Supreme Court on water and land issues. In 1904, she wrote her only book Hawaii, Its People, Their Legends, published by the Hawaiian Promotion Committee. The book openly touched upon the "negative influences of the Western civilization" i.e. issues of sexism, racism, colonialism and the overthrow of the Monarchy while promoting her love of her Hawaiian culture.   The University of Hawai'i at Manoa is located on what used to be her estate.



14. Adelaide Keanuenueokalaninuiamamao “Frenchy” DeSoto. Frenchy DeSoto was involved in the O'ahu land eviction and the Kaho'olawe struggles in the 1970s.  She was also in the James Michner movie, "Hawaii", where she was cast as an extra beating up a missionary. She worked as a janitor before being elected as a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention of 1978 and is considered by most to be the "mother" of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. At the time, DeSoto thought that the Department of Hawaiian Homelands and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs would be merged--but that was not to happen.  She was also instrumental in having Hawaiian as an official language within the State constitution. She served as on the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for more than two decades. She was a controversial figure among her OHA colleagues due to her blunt talk and a tendency to give certain politicians the middle finger and other expletives for not serving the public.





15. Gladys Kamakakuokalani ʻAinoa Brandt. She was the daughter of a famed Territorial legislator who had literally fought for Queen Lili'uokalani against the Republic of Hawai'i.   She would finish her BA in teaching at the University of Hawai'i (UH)--the first Hawaiian female to recieve a BA in education from UH. She eventually became Hawai'i's first female public school principal and later became the first woman to be named superintendent of schools. In 1963, she became principal of Kamehameha Schools for Girls becoming the first Native Hawaiian ever to serve as a principal of  Kamehameha Schools. Ironic considering that Kamehameha Schools was a school for Native Hawaiians.  During her tenure as principal, she and Nona Beamer restored the long banned standing hula at Kamehameha Schools and initiated a Hawaiian Studies program. She thought it was absurd that a Hawaiian school would not have Hawaiian programs. In 1971 she retired from Kamehameha Schools and in 1983 was appointed on UH's Board of Trustees by Governor Ariyoshi--the first Native Hawaiian female to be so appointed.  During her tenureship, she fought for the creation of a Hawaiian Studies Center and for that center that would also have graduate programs.   In 1997, she was a co-author of "Broken Trust", a public essay which criticized the corruption and ill begotten wealth of the Kamehameha Schools Trustees. After the Rice v. Cayetano decision, she was appointed by Governor Cayetano as a trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and would retire for the third time from serving the community in 2002. The Hawaiian Studies Center main building at UH-Manoa is named after her.




16, Moanikeala Akaka. She was a fierce no-nonsense activist and three term Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Trustee representing the Island of Hawai’i. She became politically active in the 1970s as a result of the Kalama Valley struggles and became a prominent member of the Protect Kaho’olawe ‘Ohana after the disappearance of her cousin, George Helm.  Throughout her tenure at OHA, she fought hard for funding for immersion schools and health clinics and spoke against OHA’s self-interest, overly bureaucratic way of business and corruption. She was instrumental in the settlement between OHA and the State of Hawai’i of $100 million in back payments from the ceded land revenues.  Up until her passing at the age of 72, she was still engaged in trying to protect the land by protesting the Akaka Bill and the Ten Meter Telescope at Mauna Kea.


17. Joyce Kainoa. She was one of the founding members of the Protect Kaho’olawe ‘Ohana (PKO). She literally lived off the land—growing her own crops and fishing. Her fishing boat was used to bring protesters to Kaho’olawe and was later confiscated by the US Navy.  In 1977, she was arrested for “trespassing” on Kaho’olawe and jailed for six months. She was offered bail but refused it saying that she could not recognize the State of Hawai’I and the US Navy’s jurisdiction. 

During a tribute to George Helm and Kimo Mitchell at ‘Iolani Palace in Honolulu on March 6, 1982, a Kainoa urged a crowd to change the government.
“As far as the bureaucratic red tape, as far as trespassing on Kahoolawe, to me it’s full of bull…I have gone on Kahoolawe, trespassed, according to the federal government, and they can never give me back my identity, my lifestyle, what I believe in and all the principles my kupuna before me have practiced. And today, I say to whoever the politicians are in this crowd, you betta clean up your ack..[Kaho’olawe]…It is aina, land. The land is ours. It’s our life. It’s our roots. It’s our beginning, and it’s our end….”


18. Princess Victoria Ka’iulani. She was the last Crown Princess of Hawai’i. Her family friend, Robert Louis Stevenson, called her the “Island Rose” and Hawaiians called her the “Peacock Princess” due to her pet peacocks.  She was fluent in Hawaiian, English, French, and German and an accomplished pianist,  painter, Soprano singer, surfer and seamstress.  She introduced the sport of surfing to Europe. She was fascinated by German, French, and Russian history as well by as mathematics, economics and political theory. It was said that she inherited the charisma of her uncle, King Kalakaua, the sense of duty of aunt, Queen Lili’uokalani, and the enchanting beauty of her mother, Princess Likelike.  She also had a sharp wit and hated stupid questions and arrogance.  While in San Francisco, an American woman saw the boar’s tusk belt buckle of Princess Ka’iulani and asked what it was. Princess Ka’iulani said it was her grandfather’s tooth.  After her aunt was deposed, Princess Ka’iulani made trips throughout the capitols of Europe and to the United States to fight for the independence of her homeland. The wide background of her friends showed much of the Princess' open mindedness. Her friends and acquaintances included opera singers, exiled Tahitian royals, female economists, entrepreneurs, Hawaiian sailors, professors, feminists, suffragettes, Cuban nationalists, businesswomen, Scottish lords, Irish poets, writers, German nobles and artists.  In 1897, she returned to Hawai’i after nearly a years of exile, witnessed the final theft of her country by the United States, and fought for the right of Hawaiians to be able to vote under the new Territorial regime. She died at age 23.



19. ‘Iolani Luahine. She was born Harriet Lanihau Makekau and was a master kumu hula, dancer, chanter,  and teacher.  The New York Times wrote that she was "regarded as Hawaii's last great exponent of the sacred hula ceremony," and the Honolulu Advertiser wrote: "In her ancient dances, she was the poet of the Hawaiian people."  For ‘Iolani Luahine, hula was not simply entertainment. Hula was sacred. It was mystical. It was timeless.  She resisted the commercialized versions of hula and encouraged other hula dancers not to think of hula merely as a dance but as a calling. She also served as curator of Hulihe’e Palace in Kona and was a member of the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace.


20. Edith Kawelohea McKinzie. She literally wrote the book on Hawaiian genealogies and Hawaiian genealogical research. McKinzie was also a master chanter and kumu hula. She taught hula in Hawai’i, Guam, Alaska, and various other places in the United States. McKinzie also taught chanting for the State Council on Hawaiian Heritage and was a regular lecturer with the UH College of Continuing Education in the subjects of Hawaiian genealogy and mele hula. She was the first Hawaiian Studies professor at Honolulu Community College (HCC) a post she held for more than two decades. Among her many honors and recognitions, McKinzie received the Pūlama Award from the Kalihi-Pālama Culture and Arts Society, the Order of Distinction from the State Council on Hawaiian Heritage and the Kukui Mālamalama from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

May 3, 2017

Trans-Pacific Exchanges between Hawai'i, Spain and Latin America

While Spanish galleons on route to either Mexico or the Philippines might have stumbled on Hawai’i prior to the 18th century, the first undisputed documented presence of Spaniard in the Hawaiian Islands was of Don Francisco de Paula Marin.  He deserted a Spanish naval ship and became a resident of Honolulu around 1793 or 1794. Marin was originally from Jerez de la Frontera in Cadiz, Spain, and impressed into naval service as a seaman.  Jerez de la Frontera was well known for its agriculture and that seems to have been where Marin’s passion lay. Marin had knowledge of skills involving medicinal herbs, wine making, and wheat production. He also spent a great deal of time in Mexico and the Pacific Northwest so he was familiar also with many of crops from the Americas.   He arrived in Hawai’i as King Kamehameha I was unifying the Hawaiian Kingdom.  He quickly impressed King Kamehameha I and the king incorporated him into his court.  Eventually Marin served in various capacities including accountant, business adviser, interpreter, herbalist and agricultural adviser.  Despite being a Roman Catholic, Marin lived in accordance to Hawaiian customs and had three conjugal unions with chiefly women which produced numerous children. Through his service to King Kamehameha I and his business acumen, Marin acquired large land leases and wealth. He also introduced a number of plants to Hawai’i including:  apples, apricots, asparagus, avocados, cabbage, carrots, chile pepper, a variety of coffee, eggplant, lemons, limes, macadamia, nectarines, nuts, olives, onions, oranges, parsley, peas, peaches, pears, a variety of pineapple, Irish potatoes, rice, tea, tobacco, and tomatoes.  

Marin, in his role as interpreter, also helped to broker a treaty between King Kamehameha I and Captain Hipólito Bouchard in 1818. This Treaty of Friendship between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata (now called Argentina) is considered the first international recognition of the independence of Argentina by an outside power.   Calle Hawai in Buenos Aires is named after this event and King Kamehameha I was made a Lt Colonel in the Argentine army.  This treaty also marked the first treaty that the Hawaiian Kingdom made as an independent power and reaffirms that Kamehameha I saw himself as an equal ruler and not a vassal of some other power like Great Britain, the US, France or Spain.  It also reaffirms Kamehameha I’s foresightedness that the Spanish Empire in the Americas was collapsing and Hawai’i needed to open new channels of friendship, trades and diplomacy to these emerging Latin American nations.
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Ka'iana

It is also interesting to note that around the same time as Marin arriving in Hawai’i, developments were occurring with Spanish Captain Estevan Jose Martinez, who was key in the Spanish exploration of the Pacific Northwest. In 1789, Martinez had captured British corvette under the command of Captain James Colnett in Nootka Sound which almost triggered a war between Spain and Great Britain. The Viceroy of New Spain, based in Mexico City and uncle to Martinez, had ordered Spanish vessels to stop Russian and British ships from colonizing the Pacific Northwest. Among the crew of Colnett, there happened to have been Hawaiians in particular a chief named Ka’iana or Tiana, Tajana or Tayana in Spanish.   Ka’iana was the half- brother or cousin (depending on the account) of King Kaumuali’i and the first Hawaiian documented to have visited China, the Philippines, Java, California, Mexico, Alaska, British Colombia, Oregon  and Washington.  Martinez treated Ka’iana well due to his travel experience and rank as a chief. Before being released from Spanish custody, Ka’iana and his fellow Hawaiian crewmates helped Martinez and the Franciscan Father Lorenzo Socies to compile a 200 word Spanish-Hawaiian vocabulary which was published through the Colegio de San Fernando in Mexico City and given to the Viceroy. This was the first time a Hawaiian vocabulary list outside of English speakers had been compiled and the first time Hawaiian was compared to Nootka, Nahuatl, Spanish, and Philippine languages. The purpose of the vocabulary list was to help induce the Spanish government in Mexico City to sent a Roman Catholic Mission to Hawai'i, which would not happen due to the outbreak of the Mexican War for Independence.  But Ka’iana and his crew’s presence that early on shows that while we may remember people such Marin coming to Hawai’i, Hawaiian sailors and adventurers were also going around Latin America and the world.  The interaction and exchanges between Hawai’i, Spain and Latin America was going two ways,

During the reign of King Kamehameha III another event would help to shape Hawai’i’s ties to Latin America.  In 1793 British Captain George Vancouver gave King Kamehameha I five head of black longhorn cattle as well as a herd of sheep.  In 1803, Vancouver also gave Kamehameha horses. Kamehameha set them all free to roam the plains of the Big Island of Hawai’i where they multiplied and became a nuisance. As they were technically the cattle, sheep and horses of the king and therefore his property and was under kapu, people could do very little.  King Kamehameha III, seeing the problem, wrote to Mexico in 1832 asking for vaqueros (professional herders or “cowboys”) to deal with the cattle and to train Hawaiians in ranching.  In 1836, Mexico sent about 200 vaqueros from its region of Alta California (California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas were still all part of Mexico). Since these vaqueros spoke Español or Spanish, Hawaiians called them paniolo. These paniolo introduced the ranching, dive pit herding, the Mexican saddle, the guitar, and the cowboy hat.  Eventually many of vaqueros returned to Mexico, but their legacies live on through the Hawaiian paniolo traditions and Parker Ranch. Also from this cultural exchange, a distinctive Hawaiian type of music emerged--kī hōʻalu—that blended vaquero guitar music with Hawaiian rhythms and expressions.  Another important aspect is that the Hawaiian paniolo traditions are older than American cowboy traditions by some 30 years. As a side note, one of the promoters of paniolo traditions was Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, who admired the paniolos.

Another important tie between Hawai’i and Latin America was the arrival of the first Puertorriqueños or Puerto Ricans in 1900.  In August of 1899, San Ciriaco, a huge hurricane, punished Puerto Rico for two days with winds of 110mph – 150mph.  It left the island completely devastated with thousands of agriculture workers unemployed. The Hawai’i Sugar Planters Association (HSPA) was looking for experienced workers for their plantations and saw the potential of Filipino and Puerto Rican workers. The Philippines and Puerto Rico had just been “acquired” by the United States in 1898 and due to colonial politics, Filipinos and Puerto Ricans were considered US nationals rather than aliens (unllike the Japanese and Chinese) and therefore would be exempted from alien exclusion acts.  When the HSPA found out about the hurricane, they saw it as an advantage and quickly started recruiting desperate workers from Puerto Rico.  Between 1900 and 1901, the HSPA brought 5,000 Puerto Ricans workers to toil on Hawai’i’s plantations. As a result of this migration and with many local Puerto Ricans no longer speaking Spanish, some Puerto Rican traditions and foods were adapted.  The traditional "arroz con gandules" became "gandule rice" and "pasteles" become "pateles."

Around the same time in 1907, the HSPA also began to recruit Spanish workers mainly from Málaga. These Spanish workers were mainly recruited to replace the local Portuguese, who were increasingly leaving the plantations for other employment opportunities.  This importation of Spanish workers continued for ten years but by 1930, over 95% of these Spanish workers either left for the continental US or went back to Spain as they found plantation conditions unbearable.


References:
1.  Nathaniel Portlock, A Voyage Round the World . . . in 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788 (1789; New York: Da Capo Press, 1968)
2.  John Meares, Voyages Made in the Tears 1788 and 1789 from China to the North West Coast of America . . . (1790; New York: Da Capo Press, 1967)
3. Ralph S. Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 1, 1778-1854 Foundation and Transformation (Honolulu: U P of Hawai'i, 1938) 429-30.
4.  Samuel M. Kamakau, Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii (Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools Press, 1961) 5. David Samwell, "Journal," The Journals of Captain Cook . . ., by John C. Beaglehole (Cambridge: Cambridge U P, 1967).
5. George Dixon, A Voyage Round the World . . . (1789; New York: Da Capo Press, 1968) 

Feb 5, 2017

Pō and the Kumulipo

The Kumulipo in my opinion is one of the greatest Hawaiian narratives ever composed. Its metrics is seem designed to imitate the ocean waves with its high and low tides and its symbolism while appearing to be literal, hints at numerous philosophical points. One of the points I wanted to break down is on the Kumulipo’s emphasis on non-localized phenomenal existence.
In the beginning of the Kumulipo narration, there is an ever changing earth amid a singular universe expanding into the night, into the unknown realms, into . With the expansion and natural chaos occurring on earth, this , this singular universe, inherently has its own conscience. begans to engage in a search for meaning.
So it breaks itself apart, first into binary parts—Kumulipo and Pō’ele. The name Kumulipo itself is composed of two words: Kumu in this case meaning source and lipo referring to an abstract image of a distant dark deep blue-black endless depth (as in a cave, the deep sea, or deep space). Pō’ele on the hand is often translated as dark or deepest black night. But there is also another meaning. ‘Ele also means embryo. So while Kumulipo suggests an endless depth, Po’ele suggests a deepness that can be imagined and has its own shape, like an embryo. These two juxtaposed together is similar to the two-soul concept of wailua and ‘uhane. The wailua is a projection of the ‘uhane and cannot exist outside of a body or shell because we cannot perceive such a conscious without some kind of form or shape similar to suggestion of Pō’ele’s name. But without the wailua, the ‘uhane could not be perceived. But both the ‘uhane and the wailua form a basis how we perceive the spiritual consciousness in the same way that the universe divided itself into Kumulipo and Pō’ele in order to understand its own consciousness. The universe then divides itself further into the various creatures on earth and then into deities and man, investing its own consciousness into every life form.
This is why in the Kumulipo chant, the akua are relevant only in the progress of the universe understanding itself. There are no creator gods nor is there a need for one (or more) in the narration. Nature emerges or is born from , from the consciousness of own self. With the birth of the gods, it no longer simply engages itself in a natural form. wants to be perceived. It wants to engage on an entirely different level. It wants to engage in the different levels of consciousness. It needs to evolve and wants to interact. But it also knows that it needs forms to engage other parts of its consciousness, hence the akua. This is why is also “the realm of the gods” as well as the realm of the departed ancestors because our consciousness will return to the source, to .
We are Pō , the universe, trying to understand and perceive itself.

Hawaiian Ali'i and Western Architecture



There always was criticism about the houses and dress of Hawaiians in the 19th century particularly the ali'i. I have heard Hawaiians say "Oh they wear haole clothes" and "Oh they live in haole houses". Statements such as that are totally poho and po'opa'a. In this century, we live in a time that Hawaiians can wear a malo during a graduation ceremony at UH. But the mentality back then a century ago was sharply different due to political, social, and cultural pressures. Hawaiians were a recognized nation and one of the last Pacific countries to avoid colonialism. Tahiti and Aotearoa's colonization had directly impacted the minds of many of the Hawaiian ali'i. Hawaiians were being --yes even during the Kingdom era--to become "civilized" (read Westernized. That was not only true of Hawaiians, but also of Japanese, Chinese, Turks, and Thais. There was a long period of time in the 19th and 20th century where the Japanese Imperial Family and the Thai Royal Family was rarely ever photographed or painted in their national attires. Japan and Hawai'i in particular pursued a strong and deliberate national policy of internal-Westernization in order to cope with the traumatic changes emanating from Europe and America as a result of the Industrial Revolution. The motto of the Meiji government at that time was "Western Technology, Japanese spirit". In Hawaiian newspapers there's tons of comments about being "civilized". 
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Queen Emma's pili grass hale

The ali'i were constantly being pressured to adopt English, to behave as proper English aristocrats, and to be well versed in European history and law in order to project to the major powers that Hawai'i was a country that the West could do business with on equal terms. There was also the mana'o of many Hawaiians that we needed to adopt these ideas, ways of living and technology because it would improve the lives of the people (i.e. hospitals) and would put Hawai'i on an equal footing with other powers. But the ali'i were still Hawaiian. Queen Emma lamented on her travels to England how she missed fish and poi. The photo attached is a photo of Queen Emma's pili grass hale that one stood at Hanaiakalama. This is where she would relax, talk in Hawaiian with her staff and be Hawaiian All of the ali'i were like that. All of them felt more comfortable in the traditional Hawaiian ways than what they were being pressured to adopt. Western clothes did not make a Hawaiian ali'i less Hawaiian. It is only when a Hawaiian has decided against maintaining their ancestral ties to the land, turns away from his/her kuleana to the community and has adopted values alien to Hawaiian culture such as unbridled consumerism that the Hawaiian has lost touch.

The Queen's Protest in Hawaiian and English

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Hawaiian Hairstyles

In sketches from John Webber in the 1770s, both Hawaiian males and females were depicted with long and short hair. An argument could be made for or against long hair in the cultural sense as both had a place in pre-Contact Hawaiian society. For example, the cut known as 'oki mahiole is known to be a cut used for those in mourning and those who are practictioners of certain akua. Shoulder length hair or braided hair tended to be associated with Kū. The depictions of Kū and of Kanaloa tend to actually depict braids. Dyed hair, particularly reddish or white, and long flowing wavy hair tended to be associated with Pele practitioners. In a person's life, these styles tend to change. Often, due to the influence of Christianity, we tend to think that Kanaka Maoli simply stuck with one or a two akua for their life. But in actually, devotion to one akua tended to shift. Kamehameha for example was a devotee of Pele and once unification was achieved, he shifted to the mo'o sect of Kihawahine. Sometimes this shift was marked with a new haircut.
In the Hawaiian mourning cycle, cutting one's hair was highly symbolic and ritualistic. Chiefs ritually cut their hair when they lost a battle. Chiefs also ritually cut their hair in specific forms to show their mourning. ʻAko poʻo ʻōʻū (to cut off all the hair at the back of the head and leave hair only in front) was a mourning haircut often associated with chiefs who lost a child. The papa.ʻiole, an irregular "rice bowl" type of haircut, was a cut often associated with chiefs who were in mourning for comrades. The ʻoki kīkepa, cutting or shaving one side of the head, was also a ritual haircut for mourning. The ʻoki pohe or crew cut was another ritual haircut done in times of mourning. These haircuts apply to both males and females.

One of the reasons why such haircuts were attached to such mourning rituals is the time and effort it would take niho 'oki (shark tooth haircut tool), niho pūpū or niho ʻā pele (obsidian or volcanic glass haircutting tool) to have one's haircut in accordance to the mourning rituals. Hawaiians of old deeply valued effort in general and such outward displays of mourning and affection showed such efforts.

One must remember that in pre-Contact Hawaiian society, mourning was not simply a private matter of grief, but a public display of affection and loyalty complete with kanikau (wailing), temple rituals, ritualistic hair cuts, ritualistic meals, and specific kapu. It was thought that such displays of affection, ritual, and loyalty in the practical sense helped mourners in the grief process and to affirm ties of community. It can also have a cleansing and therapeutic effect, as it is still common among modern people in many different cultures today to have their hair redone after a messy break up or a traumatizing death in the family. In the Hawaiian spiritual sense, it helped the departed know that his/her life was appreciated and that it's okay for them to rejoin their ancestors in Pō.
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Picture: Tikhanov's of King Kamehameha the Great (1818) sporting a cut known as the 'oki mahiole when he went into formal morning.

While some arguments through Hawaiian culture could be made for keeping the hair long or for cutting in the ʻoki huelo (short hair), I personally think that schools including Kamehameha Schools should allow Hawaiian children to either grow their hair long or to cut it because both outward expressions can be found in Hawaiian cultural norms.

Kamehameha And His Foreign Advisers

I read a comment of someone on Facebook diminishing King Kamehameha's accomplishments because of his use of foreign advisers. Every country of that era utilized denizens (foreign nationals) as advisers, teachers, and bureaucrats. Mary Queen of Scots had an Italian advisory. Catherine the Great Empress of all the Russias had French and English advisers. The Wanli Emperor of China had Father Matteo Ricci, an Italian, as an advisor. In Polynesia, the Royal Families of Tonga, Samoa, and Tahiti all had foreign advisers in the 19th century. Race and nationality itself in those days was much more fluid than it is in modern times with border controls, passports and immigration check points. Furthermore, many rulers had foreign advisers because foreign advisers could be dismissed easily and owed their allegiance to the king himself rather than an inherited position or long standing wealth. Today, it's somehow a big deal. Kamehameha's use of foreign advisers, which was pretty normal for it's day in most parts of the world, yet it is used to attack Kamehameha but also to imply a certain negative racial undertone about Hawaiians in general. There is also an assumption that these foreign "advisers" merely were involved with warfare. Some were. But most were involved in economic and agricultural activities. Some also served as teachers, land managers, merchants of government monopolies and translators. Hawai'i's economy had drastically changed after Captain Cook and there was a need to acquire new skills, new perspectives, and new technologies from the outside world and Kamehameha was not afraid of change and listening to the ideas of others. Kamehameha also knew that Hawai'i could either be overwhelmed with the new changes from the outside world or Hawai'i could try to manage and direct it. He chose the latter.
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Jacques Arago: The Baptism of Kalanimoku aboard the Uranie
Between the years 1778 to 1820, on average over 72 foreign ships annually had docked in Hawai'i and that number doubled between the years 1820 to 1850. The esteem Papa I'i had noted that commoners had acquired guns from these foreign ships and the chiefs were acquiring canons and other foreign weaponry. If commoners were acquiring guns, how much more a Hawaiian chief? If one imagines King Kalaniopu'u's troops marching against Kamehameha's troops with spears, one would be mistaken. Kalanaiopu'u's troops had muskets and canons. Some of the canon marks can be seen even till this day at the Nu'uanu Pali. But these weapons were no match for Kamehameha's innovative use of the floating canons--English canons mounted on Hawaiian lava sleds known as hōlua. Kamehameha often is remembered as a warrior but the islands ultimately were united simply by warfare, but by diplomacy and marriage. King Kaumuali'i ceded Kaua'i twice to Kamehameha (1810 and 1816) and he would eventually enter into a conjugal union with Ka'ahumanu I.

We also know that Kings Kaumuali'i and King Kalaniopu'u also had their own foreign advisors. We know more about Kamehameha's advisers because Kamehameha ultimately won the war and specifically we know a great deal about John Young and Isaac Davis. We know about Davis and Young because they married ranking Hawaiian ali'i women and their hapa descendants would be history makers in their own right such as Queen Emma. But there were others. There was Francisco de Paula Marin, who served primarily as an agricultural advisor to King Kamehameha. We also know that Kamehameha's court included at least 8 Japanese who had been shipwrecked in 1806 and served the king. We also know that by 1790 there were also a few Chinese who had originally served under Kalaniopu'u (hence why they left on O'ahu) but then ended up serving under Kamehameha the Great after the later was defeated. They probably were other nationalities who had also served under Kamehameha such as Mexicans and South Americans who were part of the Spanish Empire at that time and hence the Hawaiian name "Paniolo" (likely from the words "La Española" and Español) for cowboy. But as our history books privileges English language primary sources, especially those written by American writers, in Hawaiian history, we don't know a lot about these other peoples. But the roots of the multi-ethnic society that Hawai'i enjoys today goes back to Kamehameha's times.

I also would add that Kamehameha also ensured that the foreign advisors and teachers knew their place and respected both Hawaiians and Hawaiian culture--which is different from what happened later on in the 19th century when a few foreign advisers (and their grandchildren) would eventually impose their own culture, poltiical system, legal system, etc.

On Being Maikaʻi

Most people know the term "maikaʻi" in the Hawaiian national language and they know the term as meaning "good" or "fine" in English. Maikaʻi, however, is a term that actually does not translate well in English because there is an entire concept behind the term. Maikaʻi is actually more of a state of being, specifically of being in good health, fine disposition, living up to one's moral compass and of good appearance. In other words, the total package of "goodness".

The Hawaiian dictionary gives some examples. He wahine maikaʻi loa ke nānā aku, a woman very good to look at. E ʻai ā pau maikaʻi ka iʻa, eat until the fish is completely finished. One might scratch one's head to understand why maikaʻi in one context refers to a beautiful woman and in another context, to a fully eaten fish. This is because in Hawaiian, nani refers to outward or physical beauty whereas maikaʻi can compliment not just a woman's looks but her disposition, her character and her manners. In the fish context, the underline thought is that the fish was completely eaten--as it should be. Kanaka Maoli of old in particular only cooked exactly enough for what was required and throwing away food was seen as not only not pono, but insulting to the fishermen and to the akua themselves. So it is right and proper that one should eat the food given to you completely.

For Thanksgiving, the Hawaiian translation is "Lā Hoʻomaikaʻi". Hawaiians used the term maikaʻi rather than mahalo because as a verb, maikaʻi means to recognize, praise and congratulate the goodness of another person. Lā Hoʻomaikaʻi means more like "day to recognize goodness".

Next time someone asks you "Pehea 'oe?" and you are about to reply "Maikaʻi nō" (as is taught in Hawaiian 101), take a moment to take a deep breath and reflect upon one's health, one's character, and one's total goodness

Researching Hawaiian Traditions

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Hula dancers as depicted by Louis Choris in 1816

When I'm trying to verify certain Hawaiian traditions, I always try to look at the concept and see if it matches the framework of other Hawaiian traditions as well as having religious and linguistic cognates in Polynesia and in the larger Austronesian speaking world. For example, the idea of kapu is not unique to Hawai'i. In fact it seems very ingrained and probably goes back three or four thousand years back to our early maritime ancestors as its so universally practiced with our side of the world. Kapu, tapu or taboo was an intricate social, economic, political, and religious method of organizing both society and natural resources throughout Polynesia. Some of the kapu imposed were also due to sanitation and health for example the prohibition against drinking or mere touching of the blood of menstruating women, the blood of newly circumcised males, dead corpses, and the drinking or touching of the blood of pigs .

In my research on Marquesan society, one of the things I learned about their kapu or tapu system is that while the haka'iki (high chief) could impose (kahui) a tapu, manahune (commoners) and villages could also kahui a tapu on their own private homes, plants and live stock. The tau'a or kahuna and the haka'iki, however, were the only ones who could kahui on a place, on other chiefs, and enforce such a tapu.. The Marquesan term kahui and the Tahitian cognate lahui is also related linguistically to the Hawaiian term lāhui. While we think of lāhui as being a racial or national group, that term also means to impose a kapu. In the Marquesan sense, kahui not only does kahui mean to impose a kapu, but to impose an order or to set things in order as part of the larger process of organizing. Sacredness was therefore linked to having an organized society. We should take note of this especially with Hawaiian politics---sacredness was linked to being in an organizedm well managed and efficient society.

Within the larger Austronesian speaking world, I'm sure similar ideas must have existed in pre-Islamic SE Asia. Madagascar, which only Christianized itself in the 19th century, the ideas of kapu and haumia/hewa would be familiar. Malagasy have the idea of fady (kapu/tapu) and maloto (haumia). The Malagasy term for "please" or "excuse me" is azafady, literally translating as "may it not be fady to me". In Hawaiian, we have a similar idea when we say "e kala mai iaʻu" which literally means "may your forgiveness be upon me" though more accurately what it implies is that may you free/untie me from any potential error or haumia.

Did Hawaiians think of Captain Cook as Lono?

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Every Hawaiian scholar has a take on this though it's really not a "Hawaiian" issue per se. There's a couple of things that we need to consider when we think about this question. One, the way that Hawaiian scholars and writers for the last two hundred years have had to use the medium of English and the Judeo-Christian framework in order to even explain aspects of the old Hawaiian religious system. Two, how in the minds of non-Hawaiians Cook still remains a figure of importance while in the minds of most Hawaiians, Cook was not even the first European to set foot in Hawai'i. Historically, Vancouver was more important (and more beloved) than Cook for Hawaiians except for that the toxic seeds of depopulation began with Cook. However, Cook's arrival during the Makahiki did play into the existing internal politics of Hawaiian society particularly between the nobility and the sacred professional (kahuna) classes--and both exploited Cook's arrival. Third, Cook's own stature in Britain and the world could not accept that Cook was going to be killed at some point on his third voyage. His own men wanted to mutiny. The chiefs of Tonga, Tahiti and Samoa were preparing to wage war against him. But for Britain and British colonial settlers in Australia and New Zealand, Cook remained an icon of the English Enlightenment and of the rising sun of the British Empire. His "discoveries" paved the way for British claims over indigenous lands throughout the Pacific.
I will not deal with the latter two but I will deal with the first.
Within the Hawaiian religious system, there are concepts and terms that simply do not translate well into a Judeo-Christian framework nor translate well into English. Many Hawaiian concepts do fit into certain ideas of Hinduism, Taoism, and other Eastern philosophies but most Hawaiian scholars and writers until recently have largely written to and for audiences (including other Hawaiians) who grew up within that Western religious experience and had to use language (and at times adjust) to relate to that framework. Whether or not Lono was considered a "god" is one case where the answer reveals how Hawaiian religious system is being forced to be seen from that Judeo-Christian framework.
In Hawaiian thought, the right answer is that Hawaiians did venerate Cook as a god and at the same time did reject him as a god. Both answers are correct but singularly are incorrect. Two correct answers seemingly contrary of each other may seem odd but that's completely logical within the Hawaiian framework because both answers together form the correct perspective.
Hawaiians believed that the ali'i were manifestations of their akua (gods) in the same way certain trees, birds, winds, rains, etc were manifestations. They were manifestations of the same 'ano lani, the same eternal and mystical mana that illuminated the akua. But Hawaiians also knew that their ali'i were also mortal and although they commanded respect, they were only human and when they erred (hewa), they were spiritually polluted (haumia) and needed to be corrected or overthrown. The people invoked ke'ehi (rebellion). Many are the chiefs that were overthrown and their names no longer spoken on the lips despite they being manifestations of the akua. For Hawaiians, not having namesakes or having their names recited in genealogical chants was the ultimate death for when names are spoken, the bones live once more.
Ancient Hawaiians also believed in the concept of kino lau, similar to the Hindu belief of avatara, where a deity can "ride" within a certain animal or natural form, normally to interact within this realm. The concept of 'aumakua may be derived from this. The state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a for example is a kino lau of Kamapua'a. The kukui nut tree is another kino lau of Kamapua'a, except for the nuts. This does not mean that Hawaiians of old literally believed that Kamapua'a lived in the body of the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, but he could "ride" in that form to interact with this world. The setting of these kino lau also had another effect: it re-enforced the kapu system's resource management. People would not over fish, over hunt or over harvest in the fear that in doing so, it would upset one or more of the akua.
Related to that is the Hawaiian concept of noho akua, where an akua could be invoked or ride within a human, again, to interact within this realm. For example, my family generations ago venerated Kiha Wahine (often translated into English as "Dragon or Lizard Woman") whose specialization was the ritual of haka noho akua, an act where females put on special masks and special regalia and went into a trance to invoke the spirit of the Dragon Lady, perhaps similar to the Tibetan Bon oracle ritual. With the masks and regalia, they become Kiha Wahine, they become the avatar or vessel of that female god. But they were still humans and everyone knew that.
The same with Cook. While the Makahiki was on-going, some though perhaps he was a manifestation of Lono or maybe a being used as a noho akua for Lono, but they also knew he was a man. In addition to that, the Hawaiian mentality on chiefs were that they were to be respected until they did hewa or wrong. Once they committed hewa, they had become haumia (unclean) and as mentioned before, Hawaiians were not afraid of putting chiefs in place. The divine status did not exempt them from becoming haumia. Quite the opposite. The people expected their chiefs to be kūpono (upright) because of their status. They should know better because they have that 'ano lani within them. When Cook failed to act kūpono and when Hawaiians had become aware of the cloak of death that was covering the land due to the new diseases, the Hawaiians invoked ke'ehi, the stamping of the foot and setting of rebellion to remove the haumia from the lands--as they had done with chiefs before. Cook had thought that as a god, he was divine and infallible. But infallibility has no concept within Hawaiian thought and divinity has its limits--as does human patience.
So yes, did some Hawaiians venerate him? Yes within the Hawaiian religious context. Did Hawaiians see him as a man? Yes, within the Hawaiian religious context. Both answers are simultaneously correct and both answers support each other within the Hawaiian religious context.