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Aloha! This blog is run by Jessica and Sharmaine.

This tumblr will be dedicated to anything Hawaiian so you’ll be seeing random vocab, sentences, phrases, songs, lyrics, photos, historic information.. etc. Honestly, feel more than welcome to submit any information you know or photos that relates to Hawaii and the Hawaiian culture, it'd help out a lot and we'd very much appreciate it. This blog does not claim any images or things on here to be it's own unless stated or tagged on the post.

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"Tourism is not here to sell haole (white) culture. It is here because we are the native people of this aina (land). It is our culture the tourists come to see. It is our land the tourists come to pollute. Without beautiful Hawaiian women dancing, there would be no tourism. Tourism deforms culture to the point of cultural prostitution. When I say prostitution in this context I refer to the entire institution that defines a woman as an object of degraded and victimized sexual value for use and exchange through the medium of money. Examples in Hawaii are the prostitution of the land and things Hawaiian and the prostitution of women’s roles. Hawaii is itself the female object of degradation. Our aina are no longer the source of food and shelter, but rather the source of money. Land is now called real estate, rather than papa, our word for mother. Beautiful areas, once sacred to my people, are now expensive resorts. Now, even access to beaches and near hotels is strictly regulated or denied to the local people altogether. High schools and hotels funnel teenagers from kitchens to gardens to honeymoon suites in preparation for jobs in the state’s lowest-paid industry. Tourism displaces Hawaiians, and those who work do so at the lowest level. According to David Standard, who teaches American studies at the University of Hawaii, “A family of four with one full-time, average-pay hotel worker at its head lives permanently mired in an official state of poverty. To live in the U.S. government’s generous definition of intermediate standard of living, that family of four will have to hold more than three such full-time jobs. The tourist industry, in fact, is not for the Hawaiians.” In the meantime, the state Department of Education distributes tourist-appreciation kits and movies. One film, unashamedly titled “What’s In It for Me?” was devised to convince locals that tourism is “The Aloha Industry” - the golden future for everyone. The commodification of Hawaiian culture includes marketing native values and practices on hole terms. These talents, in Hawaiian terms, are the hula, the aloha - generosity and love - of our people, the u’i or youthful beauty of our men and women, and the continuing allure of our lands and waters. Tourism converts these attributes into profit. Hula dancers wear clown-like makeup, don costumes from a mix of Polynesian cultures, and behave in a smutty manner, rather than in a powerfully erotic manner. The hula is erotic because it depicts the energy of the life force - in the earth and among the people of the earth. This life force or mana (energy) is sensual and fecund. In the hotel version of the hula, the sacredbness of the dance has disappeared and been replaced with an ornamental hoax. Hawaiian women dance with Hawaiian men at “lu’aus” for a lavish “island” buffet and “thrilling” Polynesian revue. Needless to say, Hawaiians don’t participate, and didn’t participate in such things before the advent of haoles in the islands. The woman has an innocent look and is portrayed as a costumed maiden who is virginal yet enticing to the haole tourists. In the native tradition, the hula was performed: 1) as a Mohai (sacred offering); 2) to transmit knowledge as a component of the oral traditions; and 3) as a vehicle for providing social and cultural cohesion. Tourism ponders sexuality through the hula - it commodities the hula for the lurid gratification of the haole. The Hawaiian man, on the other hand, is supposed to convey an image of both virility and threat. The white women in the audience can marvel at his physique and still remain safely distant. He is, like a black American male, a fantasy animal. The men, too, are, in truth, prostituted for tourism."

The Aloha Industry: For Hawaiian women, tourism is not a neutral industry.-Haunani Kay Trask (via pasifikamovement)

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The revival of ttraditional tattoo in Tahiti began in 1981 when Tavana, a previous resident of Hawai’i and Waikiki nightclub owner, and a young Marquesan dancer named Teve, went to Germany to research traditional tattoo designs. On their return trip they stopped in Samoa, as Samoa is the only island group within Polynesia that kept the art of the traditional tatau alive. Arrangements were made for a Samoan tattooist to visit Tahiti, where Teve would receive the full-body traditional tatau done in the Marquesan style, and Tavana would be tattooed with Tahitian designs.
Both Teve and Tavana were tattooed using traditional Samoan tools techniques. Teve’s design was copied from one of the earliest records of Marquesan tattooing, an illustration from the journals of Krusenstern, a Captain on the first Russian voyage around the world in 1803-5. Tavana’s tattoos were inspired by the descriptions and illustrations of Tahitian tattooing recorded by the early observers. Through Tavana’s efforts in bringing the Samoan tattooist to Tahiti, the traditional tattoo was reintroduced into Tahitian culture. In 1982 at the annual Baistille Day festivities in Tahiti, three Samoans demonstrated traditional tattooing. Having seen the Samoan technique, several Tahitian artists were able construct tools and revive the Tahitian form of the art. In 1983-5 there were two demostrations at the fete; the Samoans demonstrating their style and three Tahitians who had learned the art of traditional tatau.

^^ that’s teve tupuhia
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History Meme - [1/6] Women
Queen Lili’uokalani (1838-1917)

I, Liliuokalani of Hawaii, by the will of God named heir apparent on the tenth day of April, A.D. 1877, and by the grace of God Queen of the Hawaiian Islands on the seventeenth day of January, A.D. 1893, do hereby protest against the ratification of a certain treaty, which, so I am informed, has been signed at Washington by Messrs. Hatch, Thurston, and Kinney, purporting to cede those Islands to the territory and dominion of the United States. I declare such a treaty to be an act of wrong toward the native and part-native people of Hawaii, an invasion of the rights of the ruling chiefs, in violation of international rights both toward my people and toward friendly nations with whom they have made treaties, the perpetuation of the fraud whereby the constitutional government was overthrown, and, finally, an act of gross injustice to me.
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1886 Princess Likelike
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Delving Deeper: Hawaiian Sovereignty That Was


On July 6, 2011, a scant month before I had the chance to visit Hawaii for the first time, the state’s Governor Neil Abercrombie signed into law a bill officially recognizing Native Hawaiians as the “only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli population of Hawaii.” The intent is to give native Hawaiians a path toward self-determination, something they have lacked. The bill is not without controversy, however. Many Hawaiians feel that that the original 1898 annexation of their islands into the United States was an illegal act negating any ability of the current state government to govern. Others argue that the bill creates two separate entities: Hawaiians and Native Hawaiians, thus increasing segregation rather than unity.

A tourist in Hawaii is scarcely aware of the continuing turmoil underlying the status of native Hawaiians. The history of Hawaii’s transition to statehood is a discouraging chapter on all sides. Prior to annexation, Hawaii had been governed by a constitutional monarchy under Queen Lili’uokalani who had ascended the throne in 1891. The new queen attempted to strengthen the interests of native Hawaiians against American economic and political expansion. Ever since Captain James Cook landed at Oahu in 1778, western nations and western interests had sought to control Hawaii’s destiny.

In 1893 Lili’uokalani was overthrown by a party of American businessmen supported by the American diplomats on the island and unofficially by a contingent of Marines from the warship, U.S.S. Boston. A provisional government was imposed. A first attempt to annex the islands in 1897 was blocked in the U.S. Congress by the Hawaiian Patriotic League. However, Hawaiian sovereignty fell to political expediency the next year. The Spanish American War flared up in 1898, and the possibility of building a Pacific naval base was of sudden strategic importance. By July 12, 1898, Congress had officially annexed the Hawaiian islands.

After James Cook’s landing, trading ships from Britain and the United States began to arrive. Faced with great foreign power, it was natural for a native leader to think of uniting the Hawaiians under one rule. From 1790 to 1810, King Kamehameha fought internal wars until all the islands submitted to his authority. Kamehameha faced first British then Russian efforts to establish colonies. Christian missionaries from New English began arriving in substantial numbers in the 1820s. Despite colonization efforts, in 1842-1843, both Britain and America separately recognized Hawaii’s independence under the Kamehameha dynastic line. After that line ended in 1872, rulers were elected. During this time, the foreign businessmen saw the royal line as the focal point of native opposition to their own business interests which derived from a rapidly growing lucrative trade with the United States. Gradually the businessmen coerced effective control of Hawaii’s government until under King Kalakaua, the business interests succeeded in replacing the monarchy’s executive cabinet with members of their own choosing. After 1891, Queen Lili’uokalani, Kalakaua’s sister and successor, pushed for a new constitution returning power to Hawaiians and the monarchy, but the business leaders, many of whom were sugar speculators supported by some missionaries, responded by overthrowing her government, placing her under house arrest, and attempting to present their actions as a creation of representational government in the face of monarchic tyranny. Sanford Dole, son of missionaries and a local politician (he was cousin to James Dole, the pineapple entrepreneur), became the temporary head of the provisional government.

Prior to western contact, native Hawaiians had developed the political organization of the islands to the level of chiefdom. Chiefdoms, according to anthropologists, are regional systems integrating several villages under an elite class of leaders who control and manage local resources. The people make obligatory payments to the chief, thus establishing his rank and giving him prestige. In return, the chief must provide for the safety, security and comfort of his people. Some chiefdoms are simple while others become large and complex. In eighteenth century Hawaii, many chiefdoms existed throughout the islands, but there were hierarchical connections among them. Some chiefs, theali’i, were more important than others and were believed to be the direct descendants of gods. Kinship with the gods added to the power of the ali’i. Lesser chiefs, the konohiki, were nevertheless related to the ali’i. The common people of Hawaiian society were called the maka’ainana. These three social statuses were so discrete that virtually no intermarriage occurred. Before the institution of kingship, the Hawaiians recognized a paramount chief whom they called the ali’i nui.

Considering these sociopolitical developments, pre-contact Hawaii was already well on its way to becoming a monarchic state on its own. Perhaps the contact initiated by James Cook hurried this process along, but it may well have occurred on its own. Nevertheless, once faced by a need to withstand foreign pressures, the ali’i under ali’i nui Kamehameha quickly consolidated their power.

Selected Resources:

Baehr, Brooks. 2011. State Officially Recognizes Hawaii’s Indigenous People. Hawaii News Now. July 7, 2011.http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/15037594/abercrombie-signs-bill-recognizing-native-hawaiians (accessed November 9, 2011)

Hanke, Jon. 2010. Today in 1898: Hawaii Annexed by United States. Westlaw Insider. August 12, 2010. http://westlawinsider.com/today-in-legal-history/today-in-1898-hawaii-annexed-by-united-states/ (accessed November 9, 2011)

National Archives. n.d. Teaching With Documents: The 1897 Petition Against the Annexation of Hawaii. Based on: Schamel, Wynell and Charles E. Schamel. 1999. The 1897 Petition Against the Annexation of Hawaii. Social Education (November/December 1999), v. 63(7):402-408.http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/hawaii-petition/ (accessed November 9, 2011)

The Hawaiian Story. 1947. Congressional Digest (November 1947), v. 26(11):269-275.

Recommended Reading:

Silva, Noenoe K. 2004. Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism. Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 123-163.

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Civil Beat Entertainment: Third Annual Kalani Performing Arts Festival Celebrates the Huliau of 2012


The time for awakening is now.

Join the celebration of expanding change and creative expression at the Third Annual Kalani Performing Arts Festival happening from July 14 to July 22 at the Kalani Oceanside Retreat in Puna. People from all walks of life are welcome to enjoy the workshops, classes, performances, and free community events being offered throughout the week. Festival attendees will be treated to extraordinary and intimate performances by teachers and faculty members who are some of the most acclaimed performers in Hawaii and abroad. Each day a different art form will be featured, including Hula, aerial dance, modern dance, music, voice, acting, and more. There will also be a final culmination performance and fundraiser at the end of the festival on Saturday, July 22 that will be open to the public.

 Big Island Weekly

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(fyeahwomen!) Stronger Together: Queen Lili'uokalani (1838-1917)

On January 17, 1891, Lili’uokalani inherited the Hawaiian throne from her brother Kalākaua after his death. American interests in Hawaii began to consider annexation for Hawaii in order to reestablish economic competition for sugar. In 1893, Queen Lili’uokalani sought to empower Hawaiians through a new constitution. This caused the American minister in Hawaii, John L. Stevens to call for troops to take over the Iolani Palace and other government buildings and in 1894, they deposed Queen Lili’uokalani. The United States Government instituted a provisional government, which became the Republic of Hawaii, in place of the overthrown monarchy. On, July 4, 1894, the Republic of Hawaii was proclaimed with Sanford B. Dole as president.

Go to http://www.uic.edu/depts/owa/history/liliuokalani.html to learn more about Lili’uokalani or go to http://nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies-home to learn about more kick-butt women in history.

Source: National Women’s History Museum

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Mes reves epanouis: The word brah:


is originally Hawaiian. Short for ‘braddah.’ Origin: Hawaiian pigeon english, 1960’s and later. Meaning: My brother/ close associate/ cousin/ or Kama’aina (person FROM HAWAII)   

I say it, because I understand the origin. PLEASE understand that it’s not some slang word thrown around by some guy with his pants around his ankles and his hat turned around.

No, I am not Hawaiian, but I know where the term comes from, and how and when to use it.

PS: the plural for brah is “braddahs” not brahs. just thought i’d give you a heads up.

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