Paradise Remade: The Politics of Culture and History in Hawai'i

Paradise Remade: The Politics of Culture and History in Hawai'i

Paradise Remade: The Politics of Culture and History in Hawai'i

Paradise Remade: The Politics of Culture and History in Hawai'i

Synopsis

This is a book about the politics of competing cultures and myths in a colonized nation. Elizabeth Buck considers the transformation of Hawaiian culture focusing on the indigenous population rather than on the colonizers. She describes how Hawaii's established religious, social, political, and economic relationships have changed in the past 200 years as a result of Western imperialism. Her account is particularly timely in light of the current Hawaiian demands for sovereignty 100 years after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893.Buck examines the social transformation Hawaii from a complex hierarchical, oral society to an American state dominated by corporate tourism and its myths of paradise. She pays particular attention to the ways contemporary Hawaiians are challenging the use of their traditions as the basis for exoticized entertainment.Buck demonstrates that sacred chants and hula were an integral part of Hawaiian social life; as the repository of the people's historical memory, chants and hula practices played a vital role in maintaining the links between religious, political, and economic relationships. Tracing the ways in which Hawaiian culture has been variously suppressed and constructed by Western explorers, New England missionaries, the tourist industry, ethnomusicologists, and contemporary Hawaiians, Buck offers a fascinating "rereading" of Hawaiian history. Author note: Elizabeth Buck is a Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai'i.

Excerpt

O ke au I kahuli wela ka honua
O ke au I kahuli lole ka lani
O ke au I kuka'iaka ka la
E ho'omalamalama I ka malama
O ke au o Makali'i ka po
O ka walewale ho'okumu honua ia
O ke kumu o ka lipo, I lipo ai
O ke kumu o ka Po, I po ai
O ka lipolipo, o ka lipolipo
O ka lipo o ka la, o ka lipo o ka po
Po wale ho--'i
Hanau ka po
Hanau Kumulipo I ka po, he kane
Hanau Po'ele I ka po, he wahine

At the time when the earth became hot
At the time when the heavens turned about
At the time when the sun was darkened
To cause the moon to shine
The time of the rise of the Pleiades
The slime, this was the source of the earth
The source of the darkness that made darkness
The source of the night that made night
The intense darkness, the deep darkness
Darkness of the sun, darkness of the night
Nothing but night.
The night gave birth
Born was Kumulipo in the night, a male
Born was Po'ele in the night, a female

Martha W Beckwith, trans. and ed., The Kumulipo . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.