Ke ku'e kupa'a loa nei makou: Kanaka Maoli resistance to colonization
This dissertation contests the myth that the Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) did not resist colonization. Analysis of the political content of nineteenth century Hawaiian language newspapers reveals resistance of many varieties to the political, cultural, and religious oppressions of colonialism. Chapter 2 analyzes the resistance discourse in the first Hawaiian language newspaper free of missionary control, Ka Hoku o ka Pakipika, which emerged in 1861 during a period of repression of hula, traditional medicine, and the indigenous religion. I contrast it to the discourse in the other Hawaiian language papers, which were all assisting in colonizing the Kanaka Maoli. Chapter 3 analyzes the emergence of Ka Hoku o ka Pakipika in the era of plantation/colonial capitalism in Hawai'i, which meant a rise to political and economic power for the U.S. missionaries. Through Ka Hoku o ka Pakipika, the Kanaka Maoli claimed the power of the press for themselves, affirming their identity as a people/nation, and resisting attempts to convert them into plantation laborers. They reproduced their native, forbidden, culture on the printed page in stories, poetry, and song, and contested the colonizers in political essays. Chapter 4 shows how King Kalakaua built upon this resistance movement by bringing the forbidden cultural practices off the page and into performance and pageantry. He brought history/legends from the oral tradition and enacted them as national narratives. Chapter 5 documents the mass anti-annexationist movement of the 1890s, which included a political organization of over 11,000 Kanaka women that has never before been viewed as important by historians. The dissertation conclusively demonstrates that reading the archive in the Hawaiian language can effectively challenge the debilitating myths and stereotypes of the Kanaka Maoli created by mainstream historiography.
0453: Womens studies
0337: American history