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Chapter 4 Emma Nakuina’s Hawaii: Its People, Their Legends: Out of Place Stories II Show the tourists something they have never seen before and they will remember the Islands and tell of their charms as long as they live. . . . A large number of tourists . . . look for a few relics of the life of the early Hawaiians. Native color . . . is what the pleasure seeker likes to have imbued in his entertainment . —‘‘Give the Tourists More Variety,’’ March 1905 In her 1905 Paradise of the Pacific article ‘‘Give the Tourists More Variety,’’ Elinor A. Langton suggested that while ‘‘Climate and scenery are well enough for the visitor at first,’’ many tourists coming to Hawai‘i harbored the desire to get ‘‘an insight into the wild life of the Polynesians,’’ as an Oregon lady had told her (18.3:15). Just how to satisfy this desire while still promoting Hawai‘i as a safe and modern American destination was one of the challenges the post-annexation tourist development industry faced. In Chapter 3, I outlined the historical production of legendary Hawai‘i, and examined its verbal and visual apparatus of translation in relation to the post-annexation marketing of Hawai‘i in books and magazines , the dominantly antiquarian and colonial project of folklore studies at the time, and the violent dis-placement on which the rhetorical re-framing of authority, genre, readership, and geosymbols implicitly operated. But neither the promotion of Hawai‘i as a settler and tourist destination, nor the role of legendary Hawai‘i within this campaign could be absolutely uniform in its ideology or successful in its effects. This should come as no surprise for, contrary to pro-annexation rhetoric, Hawaiians were—and are—not a people or a culture of the past, and their agency did matter in ways that were not fully controllable , predictable, or homogeneous. In this chapter I focus on Emma Kaili Metcalf Beckley Nakuina’s 1904 Emma Nakuina’s Hawaii: Its People, Their Legends 103 Hawaii: Its People, Their Legends as a complex, autoethnographic intervention by a Hawaiian author into the preservation of Hawaiian knowledge and stories in a post-annexation and tourist-oriented cultural economy. First, I consider the agenda and promotional strategies of the Hawaii Promotion Committee as a backdrop for Nakuina’s collection. I then examine Hawaii: Its People, Their Legends in relation to the production of legendary Hawai‘i, asking the same questions about rhetorical frames, authority, audience, representation of place, genre ideology, and translation that I raised about Thrum’s and Westervelt’s publications. Finally, to begin to set Nakuina within an alternative context, and to gain a better understanding of her as a cultural translator during politically traumatic times, I discuss two other English-language mo‘olelo that did not fit the legendary Hawai‘i model around the time of annexation. As a woman of knowledge and authority, and a Hawaiian closely tied to the monarchy, and then, through her husband and son, to the territorial legislature, Emma Nakuina faced numerous challenges, which she met at personal and professional cost. While her Hawaii: Its People, Their Legends was never reprinted, she deserves recognition as an important link in the Native Hawaiian genealogy of tellers and translators of Hawaiian mo‘olelo into English for, engaging with dominant discourses, her writings affirmed the value and values of her people. She practiced autoethnography and translation in clever ways that—epistemologically and rhetorically—countered the violence of legendary Hawai‘i and defied the tourism industry’s agenda. Promotional Literature Between the overthrow of the monarchy (1893) and the annexation of Hawai‘i (1898), leading newspapers in the United States reported on the political debate over Hawai‘i. Regardless of positions taken, this coverage resulted in a tremendous amount of publicity for the islands.1 During that same period, Lorrin Andrew Thurston, a chief orchestrator of the overthrow, and the editor of the 1891 Vistas of Hawaii, was in the United States promoting annexation—and the Volcano House, the hotel he owned, where the number of registered guests went from 452 in 1893 to 1,010 in 1900, reaching 3,076 in 1909 (Crampon 323). Starting in 1892, Thurston and Benjamin F. Dillingham of the Oahu Railway and Land Company helped to develop a Hawaiian Bureau of Information to encourage tourist travel to the islands, often by offering information about Hawai‘i at fairs, including the World Colombian Exposition (Chicago, 1893) and the Midwinter Fair (San Francisco, 1894).2 The experiences of those...


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