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Chapter 1

HWST 107 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Heiau, Western Law, Kahoolawe

Hawaiian Studies
Course Code
HWST 107

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Genealogies in History
● Genealogies are Hawaiian concept of time
○ Histories of ali’i, but determine mo’olelo (histories) of all Hawaiians
○ Links those alive today to mana (spiritual power) that first emerged w/ beginning
of world
○ Important esp. after Western contact in 1870s
■ Foreign diseases after arrival of Captain Cook carried off Hawaiian people
○ Genealogy determines quality of any proposed sovereign
■ 1873: Kalakaua vs. Emma for sovereign
● 1893: Queen Lili’uokalani was overthrown and Hawaiians cried out for sovereignty
● 1896: Ka Maka’ainana (The Commoner) pushes genealogies
○ Newspaper confirmed that Hawaiian genealogies are history of Hawaiian people
○ Genealogies are means of glorifying ancestors and one’s past--political purpose
● Ancestral identity is revealed in names Hawaiians carry
○ Names of ali’i are repeated for generations to enhance and share honor of
original ancestor
■ Name collects own mana and endows successor who carries it
● Ali’i are chiefs b/c they know genealogies
○ Ignoring religious doctrine, disregarding kapu, or forming relationships w/
maka’ainana women leads to banishment from “royal lineage” club
● Genealogies are more than mo’oku’auhau
○ Mo’oku’auhau: lists of who begot whom
○ Tells which decision brought ancestors success and advises future generations
to follow it
● Hawaiians stand firmly in present w/ back to future, and eyes fixed upon past, seeking
Ka wa mamua: the past; the “time in front or before”
Ka wa mahope: “the time which comes after or behind”
Wakea and Papa: The Beginning of Hawaiian Time
● Wakea: the sky father // papa: the earth mother
○ By opukahonua lineage, were half-brother and half-sister
○ Parents of islands, Hawai’i and Maui, and ancestors of Ka Lahui Hawai’i
● Borne Ho’ohokukalani (to generate stars in the sky) w/o Papa’s knowledge
Kahuna (priest) suggested that ‘aikapu (sacred eating) religion require four nights
of each lunar month be set aside for special worship of four major male Akua
(Ku, Lono, Kane, Kanaloa)
■ ‘Aikapu: men and women eat and prepare food separately
■ Kapu for men to sleep w/ wahine
■ Men and women should be at heiau (temple) services on these nights
■ Wakea seduced Ho’ohokukalani and gave birth to Haloa-naka
● Haloa-naka: born prematurely, buried in ground, and in that spot
grew the first kalo plant
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● Man’s familial relationship to the land
○ Shown in Hawaiian tradition of malama ‘aina (caring for the Land)
● ‘Aikapu: separation of sacred male element from dangerous female, thus creating order
in the world
● Mana that that emanates from ni’aupi’o mating (chief incest)
Malama ‘Aina: Caring for the Land
● Hawaiian does not desire to conquer elder female sibling, the ‘Aina, but to take care of
● ‘Aina, kalo, and ali’i nui are responsible for feeding, clothing, and sheltering younger
brothers and sisters, the Hawaiian people
● Duty of Hawaiians to malama ‘aina, and in return, ‘aina will malama Hawaiians
○ Fostering perfect harmony--pono
In Hawaiian society
● Ali’i nui kept ‘aina fertile and akua appeased; the maka’ainana fed and clothed the ali’i
● Ali’i nui determined correct uses of ‘aina
○ Ma’ilikukahi of O’ahu caused island to be thoroughly surveyed and boundaries
between different divisions and lands to be definitely and permanently marked
■ Renowned for organization of ‘aina and its productivity
○ Central control was required to ensure plentiful food production
● Division of regions
○ Each district was made of ahupua’a (wedge-shaped sections of land that
followed natural geographical boundaries)
■ Boundaries are pig head carvings
■ Includes all materials required for sustenance, shared by all members of
○ Ahupua’a was divided into ‘ili and eventually broken down to ko’ele, bakuone,
and kuakua
■ Ko’ele and bakuone: portions of ‘aina cultivated for ali’i
■ Kuakua: broad embankment between lo’i
● Ali’i were responsible for establishment and upkeep of extensive ‘auwai (irrigation
systems), crucial to wet-land kalo
○ Wet-land kalo farms produced 10-15x more kalo than dry-land farms
● At each level of ‘aina was a konohiki (lesser ranked ali’i) responsible for collecting tribute
and for directing day-to-day activities of cultivation and fishing
○ Collecting tribute centered around makahiki festival in honor of fertility God Lono
■ During Lono’s reign in October/November-January/February, war, human
sacrifice, and labor are kapu
● Time of rejoicing, leisure, hula dancing, and sports
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