The Bishop Museum of Honolulu, Hawai‘i, is an institution that has an imperative to serve Native Hawaiian communities, but also has other contributing communities. The question is how these responsibilities between communities might be balanced, if they can be balanced, especially given the history of colonialism in Hawai’i. In an attempt to elucidate these complexities, this essay examines the rhetorical relationship between the Native Hawaiian permanent exhibit, Hawaiian Hall, and the immigrant community exhibit series, “Tradition and Transition.” Through a rhetorical reading of both exhibits, the essay demonstrates the ways in which these two seemingly closed and even contradictory narratives of life on the Hawaiian islands compete with one another, but if read with an eye toward the mechanisms of colonialism and settler colonialism, can be read together under an Indigenously-based alliance as a critique of the systems that created the exigencies for each of these narratives.


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pp. 43-65
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