Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 960:

Hawaii’s literarily history is vast, comprehensive and was almost completely ignored by all scholarship in the islands until well after the second Hawaiian renaissance in the 1970’s. Even though there are an estimated 1 million letter sized transcript pages of nupepa authored by Hawaiians between the 1830’s and the 1950’s the only literature given any weight by haole academics was the serial published work of 4 religiously educated and converted men. To this day, most people do not even realize this resource exists and if it were not for the recent work by Kanaka Maoli authors and academics to unearth these nupep they would be almost entire forgotten.

This practice represents the overall silencing of Hawaiian thought and voices. Those voices were replaced with inadequately translated pieces of literature. These texts remained under the names of the original authors to maintain their authority. For the next 100 some years kanaka maoli and haole scholars alike have to turned to these texts unapologetically as a significant source and launching point for almost all scholarship to bloom from. Ignoring the fact all four authors were men who were converted Christians who had turned away from kanaka maoli gods and that their work was sliced and r4eworked by opportunist haole men it is still incredibly problematic to base an entire academic conversation from the voices of sources – especially when there is a massive pool of literature to also look to when trying to form an image of kanaka maoli identity and history.

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