Lessons in Power and Healing
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: State University of New York Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
INTRODUCTION: Ethnography of Decolonization in Hawai‘i
The term decolonization was applied, after the Second World War, to the achievement of independence and recognition of indigenous national governments by former colonial rulers. Decolonization, in this sense, was synonymous with formal national liberation and was understood as an achievement in the public domain of politics, often at the behest of the colonial power...
1. KA PO‘E KAHIKO: The People of Old
In order to understand efforts toward decolonization in the late twentieth century, it is necessary to understand what colonialism meant from the perspective and experience of the colonized. This chapter tells the story of ka po‘e kahiko—the ancestors of Native Hawaiians, or the people of old—who experienced the trauma of Western “discovery.” Anthropologist and historian Greg Dening wrote that “giving the dead a voice, letting their signatures on life be witnessed,” motivated his history writing. But it is not only...
2. WAI‘ANAEA: Space of Resistance
Before I moved to the working-class community of Wai‘anae on the leeward coast of O‘ahu in early 1996, I stayed briefly in Honolulu at the University of Hawai‘i. In casual conversations I learned an important distinction about the community I planned to study. Wai‘anae, I was told, was “dangerous,” “rough,” and “really, really local.” A Korean graduate student in biostatistics worried about my safety and wondered what I might learn in...
3. MANA What the Data Hide
This chapter explores the health status of Native Hawaiians in the late twentieth century, the conditions that produced the diseases affecting them, and the reinterpretations of the facts of Native Hawaiian morbidity and mortality from an epistemology of decolonization. The beliefs and practices of Native Hawaiians were not extinguished by American history, Western science, politics, religion, or capitalist economics. The descendants of ka po‘e kahiko endured. They survived the deadly epidemics...
4 THE STENCH OF MAUNA ALA,COLONIALISM, AND MENTAL HEALTH
According to Western sources, the origins of Hawaiian history lie in the drama that culminates in the “unification” of ka pae ‘āina and the founding of a nation-state (see Anderson 1865, 37; Ellis 1979, 11; Kuykendall 1965, 47). In these narrations, Kamehameha’s army lands at Waikīkī, and with little resistance from the forces of the O‘ahu Chief Kalanikūpule, advances up through Nu‘uanu Valley. Kalanikūpule’s army is forced to retreat (the army is said to have “fought stubbornly”) up over the mountain cliffs known as the Pali. Some of Kalanikūpule’s men escape by climbing down the mountains...
5. KA LEO: Remembering Hawaiian
The colonizers’ notion that Western ways were superior and the enforcement of these Western ways rendered Hawaiian ways of knowing and being illegitimate. This was particularly true of the enforcement of the English language in Hawaiian schools, the hegemony of Christianity, and the demotion of Hawaiian cosmology. But Hawaiian ways did not disappear. In the 1990s, ideas and practices that had been harbored underground were reinterpreted...
6. DREAMING CHANGE
When Hawai‘i was under martial law, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, a baby girl was born whose Hawaiian name was concealed between a Christian first and last name. Concealing Hawaiian names was a widespread form of quiet resistance to the colonial law requiring the use of...
CONCLUSION: “Ropes of Resistance” and Alternative Futures
Trask’s eloquence regarding the trauma of dispossession makes clear that the colonized were affected at the level of families, and of bodies and souls, and not just in the public domains of politics and economics. Structurally and ideologically, in both formal and intimate realms, colonialism meant the erasure of the history, culture, and cosmology of Kanaka Maoli. The structures of Hawaiian society were dismembered. Dispossession from the land, which in the cosmology of ka po‘e kahiko was a familial relation, was a profound trauma that severed...
Page Count: 242
Publication Year: 2011
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