(c) Copyright 2010 - 2019
Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
All rights reserved
INTRODUCTION -- WHY RELIGION IS AN IMPORTANT TOPIC IN UNDERSTANDING HAWAII'S HISTORY AND HAWAIIAN SOVEREIGNTY
This website focuses on Hawaiian sovereignty. Religion has been a very important part of the history of Hawaii and a major force in shaping the sovereignty of Hawaii both in ancient times and at present. In order to understand major issues related to Hawaiian sovereignty it is essential to understand both the ancient native Hawaiian religion and modern Christianity; and how the two religions have interacted since 1778. What is the relationship among the gods, the land, and the people? Where does knowledge come from? How do people get knowledge? Do different races have inherently different relationships with the gods and the land; and different inborn ways of learning and knowing? The answers to such religious questions have major political consequences.
Below are a few paragraphs briefly summarizing the importance of religion in Hawaiian culture; the role of the native religion as a foundation of Hawaiian sovereignty in ancient times; the role of Christianity in replacing the ancient religion which the Hawaiians destroyed by themselves BEFORE the Christian missionaries came; and the current revival of the ancient religion as a tool to promote race-based political sovereignty. Following the introductory paragraphs is a list of webpages and books related to specific topics. The main purpose of this webpage is to call attention to those webpages and books. Here's why they're important.
Captain Cook arrived in 1778. For several centuries before then, and several decades afterward, the ancient Hawaiian animist nature religion was an intimate part of daily life. Prayers were offered throughout every day to the four major gods and thousands of lesser gods by both ali'i (chiefs) and maka'ainana (commoners) as they went about their ordinary activities such as making important decisions, planning a battle, planting or harvesting, fishing, chopping down a tree, etc. Heiaus (stone temples) were constructed in every valley and dedicated to the gods of agriculture (including fishing), the gods of war, or other gods (such as Laka the goddess of hula). On important occasions human sacrifices were offered to the gods to ensure bountiful crops or success in battle; or during ceremonies to dedicate a new heiau or a newly built house of a high chief. Kamehameha The Great received a prophecy that if he would build a large heiau at Kawaihae (northwest corner of Hawaii Island) he would become Hawaii's greatest conqueror and unify all the islands. So he personally carried rocks and led thousands of warriors in building Pu'ukohola heiau. He then invited Keoua, an important enemy high chief (who was probably his biological father) to help him dedicate the new heiau; and when Keoua arrived in canoes along with his fellow chiefs and warriors, at the beach below the heiau, Kamehameha slaughtered them all and placed their bodies on the altar as human sacrifices to dedicate the new heiau to his war god Kuka'ilimoku.
There were hundreds of laws prohibiting various behaviors. Violating any such kapu (taboo) carried a penalty of death unless the perpetrator could flee to a pu'uhonua (sacred place, or person, of refuge) to do penance and be absolved by a priest. Many of the taboos seem trivial to today's people -- we have difficulty understanding why violating them warranted the death penalty. The explanation lies in the ancient religious beliefs. For example, stepping on the shadow of a chief or touching a piece of his clothing was thought to weaken or pollute the chief's mana (spiritual power). The chiefs were directly descended from the gods and served as intermediaries among the gods, the land, and the people. The chiefs were responsible for maintaining pono -- the proper balance. Thus any interference with the mana of a chief upset the balance and could result in famine, earthquakes, disease, hurricanes, etc. Another example is the taboo against women eating specific foods (bananas, coconuts, pigs) which were the embodiments of the gods of masculinity and virility.
There was a taboo against men and women eating together on the same mat or at the same table. In 1819, shortly after the death of Kamehameha The Great, his older son King Liholiho Kamehameha II, and his stepmother Ka'ahumanu, intentionally and publicly violated that taboo, for the purpose of destroying the old religion and fundamentally changing the social order. They did so with the permission and approval of Kahuna Nui (High Priest) Hewahewa. Liholiho and Ka'ahumanu organized a huge luau and invited all the high chiefs. During the meal the King got up, walked over to Ka'ahumanu, sat down next to her, and ate. The penalty was death; but of course it was not carried out. They then made a speech to the horrified and bewildered crowd telling the people that the old religion was dead, and ordering the destruction of all the heiaus and burning of the idols. The three most powerful people in Hawaii -- Liholiho, Ka'ahumanu, and Hewahewa -- had mutually decided to repudiate the stagnant old order established by Kamehameha The Great and to push Hawaii into an uncharted future.
In light of U.S. President Obama's campaign slogans, we might say the Hawaiian leaders were offering "hope and change." But as Sarah Palin famously asked at the Tea Party convention in February 2010: "How's that hopey changey thing workin' out for ya?" Hawaiians now had no religion -- no basis at all for morality or for the authority of the chiefs. Chiefs and commoners, who formerly had prayed dozens of times everyday during their normal activities, now had no gods to pray to, and no sense that they had any guidance for their actions. Despair and chaos ensued. Intervention from outside was needed if the hope for change was to be fulfilled. But the first boatload of Christian missionaries did not arrive until the following year, 1820.
As a young man Kamehameha The Great had served the high chief of his district, Kalanipu'u. When Captain Cook arrived in that district at Kealakekua Bay, Kalanipu'u went aboard Captain Cook's ship and took Kamehameha with him. For various reasons the Hawaiians treated Captain Cook as the major god Lono, who was expected to return to that place at that season. When the elderly Kalanipu'u later died, he gave the government to one high chief but he gave Kuka'ilimoku, the war god, to Kamehameha as a sign that Kamehameha should use war to conquer the islands. Now in 1819 when Kamehameha himself was on his deathbed, he followed the precedent set by Kalanipu'u. He gave the government to his older son Liholiho (Kamehameha II), but he gave the war god to a different high chief Kekuaokalani.
Therefore, when Liholiho Kamehameha II proclaimed the overthrow of the old religion shortly after the death of Kamehameha The Great, Kekuaokalani felt he had an obligation to protect the religion because it had been entrusted to him along with the war god by the Great Conqueror (Kamehameha). A civil war ensued, in which Kekuaokalani and his wife Manono were killed in battle along with all the losing warriors. The destruction of the temples, and burning of idols, then went forward with renewed vigor throughout all the islands.
Over the years numerous native Hawaiians had left the islands at different times and made their way to America, fleeing the economic and spiritual desolation of their homeland and also fearing for their lives because of the political consequences of Kamehameha's wars. Seven of them ended up at the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut where they studied Christianity under the auspices of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, affiliated with the Divinity School at Yale University.
One of them was Humehume, the Crown Prince of Kaua'i and son of King Kaumuali'i (who was the last holdout against Kamehameha and finally surrendered without a fight in 1810 when Kamehameha was assembling a fleet of war canoes for a third attempted invasion). Humehume had been sent to America by his father at age 4, in order to get a Western education; and returned with the first company of Missionaries in 1820. Kaumuali'i and Humehume continued to resist Kamehameha, partly by forming an alliance with a Russian naval commander and building a fort, until finally in 1824 Humehume launched an attack against a proxy for Liholiho (Kamehameha II) and was defeated.
Another native refugee who ended up at Yale was Opukaha'ia. He was a civilian noncombatant boy whose village was under attack by Kamehameha's warriors. He fled the village, carrying his little brother on his back. The warriors threw a spear at him, which killed his little brother thereby stopping the spear from killing Opukaha'ia himself. After escaping, he was taken in by the warrior who had killed his mother and father and brother, who enslaved him. Finally his uncle rescued him, and eventually he was able to beg passage as a servant on a ship to America, and ended up at Yale with the six other natives.
Opukaha'ia became fluent in English, devoutly Christian, and a powerful, charismatic speaker. One day while sitting on the steps of the library at Yale he began weeping loudly and uncontrollably. Some of his friends among the theology professors asked him why he was weeping, and he told them about the terrible depravity and pagan spiritual bankruptcy of Hawaii. He pleaded with them to send missionaries to bring salvation to his people.
Although Opukaha'ia died before the missionaries were assembled and sent on their long voyage to Hawaii, four of the six remaining native Hawaiians accompanied the missionaries on the trip, including Humehume. Thus the missionaries had many months on the ship, from Boston all the way around South America and then to Hawaii, to learn how to speak Hawaiian fluently. With a lot of help from the Hawaiians, the missionaries created a Hawaiian alphabet based on the sounds they thought they heard as they listened to the Hawaiians speaking (Hawaiians had no written language). Also on the ship they translated parts of the Bible into the new Hawaiian writing. They brought along a printing press, and set it up at the mission houses in Honolulu. Within a few years thousands of native Hawaiians had learned to read and write their own language, and converted to Christianity. It is commonly said that by the mid-1850s Hawaii had the highest literacy rate in the world. The natives built beautiful churches with guidance from the missionaries. One of the earliest was Kawaiaha'o Church in downtown Honolulu, built with 14,000 enormous coral blocks harvested from the offshore reef, and dragged to the site by the natives who carved them into rectangular shape using only the crude tools then available. The church remains in daily use, where it stands as testament to Caucasians and natives working together in service to God.
The history described above disproves three commonly-told falsehoods. (1) Hawaiian sovereignty activists like to say that the missionaries came to Hawaii uninvited and imposed Christianity on the natives. But the truth is that natives had gone to Yale, freely converted to Christianity, and begged the missionaries to come to Hawaii. (2) Sovereignty activists like to say that the missionaries came to Hawaii and overthrew the ancient native religion. But the truth is that the natives themselves overthrew their own religion in 1819 following the death of Kamehameha The Great, and the missionaries did not arrive until 1820. At that time there was no easy communication between New England and Hawaii -- neither the missionaries nor the Hawaiians accompanying them were aware that the old religion had been abolished, until they arrived in Hawaii in 1820. Upon learning the old religion had been abolished, they regarded it as a miracle and thanked God for clearing the path for their ministry. (3) Hawaiian activists sometimes say the missionaries forced the natives to abandon Hawaiian language in favor of English. But the truth is that the missionaries did their preaching in Hawaiian, and printed the Bible in Hawaiian long before they ever printed it in English. The missionaries created an alphabet and written Hawaiian language which allowed ancient knowledge and culture to be written by natives and to survive until today when otherwise it would surely have been lost. Some of the early native authors themselves, or their parents, had lived before Captain Cook arrived, and certainly before the missionaries arrived -- the characters of some of those early native authors were shaped by the ancient culture and religion.
As time went by additional boatloads of Calvinist Protestant missionaries arrived from New England. They set up the Royal School to educate the children of the chiefs (who would become future Kings and Queens). Some became trusted government advisors to the Kings. Rev. William Richards inspired Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III to write the nation's first Constitution (1840, in both Hawaiian and English) which included as its first sentence: "God has made of one blood all races of people, to dwell upon this Earth in unity and blessedness." Rev. Richards also made a trip to England and France in 1843, accompanied by a young native ali'i (Timoteo Ha'alilio) to get a commitment that they would respect Hawaii's independence. On that trip Rev. Richards carried blank parchments signed by the King which he was entrusted to fill in for any purpose he considered good, including making treaties or even selling the Kingdom. Rev. Dr. Gerrit Judd was both a missionary and a medical doctor, who was the King's closest advisor and walked side by side with the King (and ahead of native high chiefs) in processions. Judd was the hero of Ka La Ho'iho'i Ea (sovereignty restoration day, 1843) because at night, by candlelight, at risk of his life, he wrote the appeal to the British Crown to return Hawaii's sovereignty after a rogue British gunship captain had seized control. Judd was fluent in Hawaiian, wrote a human anatomy textbook in Hawaiian, and trained native men in Western medicine, in their own language.
As time went by other Christian religions came to Hawaii. Catholic priests were initially persecuted and expelled by government officials who were friendly with and grateful to the Protestant missionaries. The French government intervened to demand that Catholic priests be allowed to preach their religion and to set up churches; and the King reluctantly agreed. The leprosy colony on Moloka'i was first served by Protestant ministers on a rotating schedule, but later Father Damien (proclaimed a saint in 2009) and Mother Marianne Cope became famous for their long-term residence in a permanent Catholic ministry there. Mormon missionaries began arriving in the 1850s and became very influential both in government positions and in the community. Walter Murray Gibson held numerous cabinet positions under King Kalakaua, and was expelled (nearly lynched) after a land swindle in which he used church money claiming to buy land for the Mormon church while actually obtaining title in his own name. The Chinese and Japanese plantation workers brought their Buddhist, Confucianist, Taoist, and Shinto religions to the Kingdom, although the Asian religions did not have any notable influence on government policy.
Hawaiian sovereignty activists today are reviving the ancient native religion not so much because they believe in it, but for calculated political purposes. They disrespect their ancestors by ignoring the fact that their ancestors rejected the ancient religion in favor of Christianity. The activists justify ignoring that history by claiming that the missionaries imposed Christianity as an act of American imperial colonialism. Nearly all ethnic Hawaiians today are Christians. But the sovereignty activists (including some ordained Protestant ministers and some Catholic members of religious orders) try to persuade them that it's OK to combine elements of the ancient religion with their Christian faith, pointing out that some Catholics also practice African voodoo or Indian animism. The Catholic hierarchy has reluctantly allowed hula to be performed during church services, so long as it is subdued and clearly an expression of praise to the Christian God.
By seeking political power over specific places at the present time, the activists set the groundwork for general sovereignty over the entire archipelago in the future. Some activists demand the right to control how specific areas of land are used, because of the claim that these are "sacred places" under the ancient religion and because of the claim that "indigenous people" have the right under "international law" to practice their religion in their ancestral homeland. But of course all the lands of Hawaii are sacred, because each island is a living being who was given birth from a mating of Wakea (Sky Father) and Papa (Earth Mother).
For example Mauna Kea is where Wakea (Sky Father) and Papa (Earth Mother) mated to produce the Goddess Ho'ohokukalani, with whom Wakea then mated to produce Haloa, the primordial ancestor of all ethnic Hawaiians; and Mauna Kea is also where the snow goddess Poliahu has her home. Mauna Kea currently hosts important astronomy telescopes owned by agencies of numerous nations and administered by the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawaii. But Hawaiian sovereignty activists say that in the future Mauna Kea should be owned and managed by "Hawaiian practitioners" who would not allow additional telescopes to be built and would establish a permitting system to control who can go to Mauna Kea and what sort of orientation program (propaganda) the visitors would be required to endure.
Another example is Makua Valley which the Army currently uses for combat training but which sovereignty activists claim is home to numerous sacred artifacts and the place where the gods created man ("Makua" means "parent"). Thus, sovereignty activists use the ancient religion as a ploy to demand political power to control how Makua Valley is used. By disrupting military activity at Makua Valley and at other places, the sovereignty activists hope to force the military to withdraw from Hawaii as the first step toward forcing the U.S. to withdraw entirely from Hawaii, thereby restoring Hawaii to its former status as an independent nation.
Sovereignty activists are even going so far as to demand that English names for places and roads on O'ahu (especially the military names of roads in the former Barbers Point military base) be replaced by ancient place-names or by the names of ancient chiefs or gods mentioned in legends about those places.
Ancient burials are frequently uncovered during the process of construction of roads, stores, homes, etc. State and federal laws require various procedures to be followed to determine what should happen to the bones and/or the construction project. Likewise, ancient artifacts held by government-owned or private museums must be "returned" to biological or "cultural" descendants of the indigenous groups who created them. The federal law "Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act" (NAGPRA) was passed primarily because of political activism in Hawaii. The act names OHA and Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawai'i Nei as having standing on the same basis as tribal governments to make demands regarding both bones and artifacts. The State of Hawaii has a Historic Preservation division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and there are burial councils on every island who have specific authority under state law to make initial decisions regarding what should be done about ancient burials uncovered on public or private land. The general public respects the ancient Hawaiian religion, with the result that Hawaiian sovereignty activists have been able to gain increasing government-backed political power to control development on government and private lands.
** Personal note and disclaimer from Ken Conklin explaining the purpose of this webpage: Below is a compilation of webpages and books dealing with the relationship between religion and Hawaiian sovereignty. The compilation includes every webpage on this website that is related to religion, because it is my answer to philosophers, politicians, students, and religiously-oriented people who have asked me what I have written about this topic. This list also includes webpages and books written by other people. This list is not intended to be an exhaustive list of materials about the ancient Hawaiian native religion, any more than it could be an exhaustive list of materials about the Christian religion. There might be better descriptions of Hawaiian religion, or better descriptions of Christian religion; but the ones below, whether authored by me or by someone else, have been selected because they explicitly discuss those religions in the context of Hawaiian history and especially Hawaiian sovereignty. I welcome suggestions of other items to be added. Please send suggestions to:
DESCRIPTIONS OF THE ANCIENT HAWAIIAN NATIVE RELIGION IN RELATION TO THE POLITICS OF THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM AND/OR TODAY'S HAWAIIAN SOVEREIGNTY MOVEMENT
The Native Hawaiians Study Commission was created by the Congress of the United States on December 22, 1980 (Title III of Public Law 96-565). The purpose of the Commission was to "conduct a study of the culture, needs and concerns of the Native Hawaiians." The Commission published and released to the public a Draft Report of Findings on September 23, 1982. Following a 120-day period of public comment, a final report was written and submitted on June 23, 1983 to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. The entire majority report is available at
The chapter on the native Hawaiian religion runs from p. 224 to 249 and was written by University of Hawaii Professor (now emerita) Rubellite Kawena Kinney Johnson (who is a direct descendant of Kamehameha The Great).
Professor Johnson also published an important 3-page essay "Hawaiian Spirituality and Physical Realities" in 1991.
Portions of Professor Johnson's academic resume, and her testimony in opposition to the Akaka bill, are at
Valerio Valeri (trans. Paula Wissing), "Kingship and Sacrifice." Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985.
This book is an anthropological study of the role of ritual in the society of precontact Hawai'i, focusing especially on the ritual of human sacrifice. Rituals are seen as mediating between people of different social classes, or between humans and spirits or gods.
Samuel Kamakau, "Na Mo'olelo a ka Po'e Kahiko (Tales and Traditions of the People of Old) (translated from the newspapers Ka Nupepa Kuokoa and Ke Au Okoa by Mary Kawena Pukui), Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1991
Samuel Kamakau was a native Hawaiian scholar, born in 1815, who thoroughly studied the Hawaiian culture as contained in ancient stories passed down from generation to generation through the oral tradition. Between 1865 and 1871 he published articles in the Hawaiian language newspapers describing some of these ancient stories. Kamakau was a convert to Christianity who deplored the ancient Hawaiian religion and freely expressed his dislike of it in his writings; however, his descriptions of ancient cultural and religious practices are presumably accurate.
The Aloha Spirit -- what it is, who possess it, and why it is important
This essay draws heavily on the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, and other Christian metaphors, to explain why the Aloha Spirit is all-pervasive and extraordinarily powerful. The essay includes a discussion of Kamehameha III's kokokahi sentence in the Constitution of 1840: "God has made of one blood all races of people, to dwell upon this Earth in unity and blessedness."
Ken Conklin testimony January 12, 2004 at the NASA scoping hearing: How the telescope campus on Mauna Kea serves the spiritual essence of this sacred place in accord with Hawaiian creation legend; why testimony from Hawaiian sovereignty activists should be discounted in view of their motives
Hawaiian Bones -- The 3 Rs -- Rites For the Dead, Rights Of the Living, and Respect for All
Portions of the discussion focus on whether today's ethnic Hawaiians believe the souls of dead people continue to reside in their bones, and what deference a multicultural society would owe to such religious belief.
NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) as applied to Hawai'i -- Mokapu, Honokahua, Bishop Museum Ka'ai; Providence Museum Spear Rest; Forbes Cave Artifacts; the Hui Malama organization; Emerson Collection at Kanupa Cave; Bones uncovered during construction at Ward Center.
This is a very large webpage with numerous subpages. Some subpages will be of great interest to readers who want to understand how the ancient native Hawaiian religion is being used today to assert political demands for control over historic artifacts, burials, and sacred places. See especially the subpages devoted to the views of Hui Malama, the theft of the ka'ai from Bishop Museum, the Forbes Cave artifacts, the spear rest repatriated by OHA from a Rhode Island museum. See also the subpages which are compilations of news reports from each of the last several years dealing with the politics of NAGPRA-related issues in Hawaii, such as the bones dug up when Wal-Mart was under construction; the Brescia house at Naue, Ha'ena, Kaua'i; Kawaiaha'o Church construction project, etc.
Religion and Zealotry in the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement -- how religious myths are used to support political claims for racial supremacy in Hawaii
[Includes the following major subpages:
* Introduction (hosts vs. guests; the social contract of equality; the old religion vs. christianity);
* A deep religious belief in a geneological (family) relationship among the gods, the land, and the people;
* The use of hawaiian religion to claim that people with hawaiian ancestry have an inherent, inalienable right to control the land and the government;
* The use of hawaiian religion to claim that different families or individuals have different levels of inherent political stature -- how spiritual power, genealogy, and political power interact;
* The role of religious leaders and churches in pushing hawaiian sovereignty today;
* Political conflict between christian institutions vs. ancient hawaiian religion (especially regarding the role of hula)
* Political claims to collective cultural "intellectual property" rights (especially regarding spiritual symbols, ways of knowing, and the spiritual/cultural interpretation of political leadership);
* How the dogmatism and zealotry of the hawaiian sovereignty movement compare with religious dogmatism and zealotry (especially muslim wahhabist fundamentalism);
* Iolani palace rockpile -- religious shrine or political symbol? (vandalism raises questions)
The rise and fall of Christianity in Hawaiian politics. Ethnic Hawaiian race-nationalists are currently rejecting Christianity and reviving their ancient Pagan religion as a political weapon to assert racial supremacy over government decision-making and land ownership. Something similar happened in the 1800s. A movie released December 6, 2019 portrays a heroic native Hawaiian chiefess publicly defying the volcano goddess Pele and invoking the Christian God to stop lava from destroying Hilo in 1824; but in 1881 a powerful native Hawaiian princess saved Hilo by publicly praying to Pele after Christian missionaries and their followers had failed to stop the lava.
Here are the headings for the sections of this webpage.
THE OLD HAWAIIAN RELIGION, HOW CHRISTIANITY CAME TO HAWAII, AND HOW IT BECAME POLITICALLY IMPORTANT [very lengthy]
"THE ISLANDS" MOVIE [its own webpage with movie trailer; discussion of controversy over whether it would have a racially incendiary scene falsely portraying U.S. Marines invading the palace and arresting Queen Lili'uokalani]
HISTORICAL MATERIALS CONCERNING HIGH CHIEFESS KAPIOLANI and her courage in defying the volcano goddess Pele in 1824 to ask the Christian God to save Hilo from a volcanic lava flow
HISTORICAL MATERIALS CONCERNING PRINCESS RUTH KE'ELIKOLANI and her courage in defying the Christian God in 1881 to ask volcano goddess Pele to save Hilo from a volcanic lava flow
Pali Lee and Kauakokoula Willis, "Tales From the Night Rainbow." Honolulu: privately published, 1984. Hawai'i Public Library catalog # H-572-K
A mo'olelo (a novel or perhaps an oral history) of a Moloka'i woman who lived from 1816-1931, handed down within her family. This is an alleged description of the pre-ali'i culture of Hawai'i established by the settlers from Marquesas, or perhaps the Menehune before them, from about 400 AD to about 1300 AD, prior to the Tahitian invasions. It paints an idyllic picture of a profoundly spiritual and peaceful subsistence lifestyle without warfare or human sacrifice, without the social stratification between ali'i and maka'ainana, and without the kapu system. Some ethnic Hawaiians today claim that Captain Cook's arrival in 1778 was responsible for the establishment of Kamehameha as supreme conqueror and unifier of the islands; and that the Hawaiian culture was permanently warped by growing colonial influences. Therefore, the ali'i culture prior to 1778 is seen as more authentically Hawaiian. But this book claims that the ali'i culture was similarly superimposed on the prior pre-ali'i culture through a colonial invasion from Tahiti. The pre-ali'i culture is portrayed as an even more pure pre-colonial Hawaiian culture.
THR ROLE OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE KINGDOM OF HAWAII
Henry Opukaha'ia (Obookiah) -- Native Hawaiian Travels to New England in 1809, Converts to Christianity, and Persuades Yale Divinity Students to Come to Hawai'i as Missionaries in 1820 to Rescue His People From Their Heathen Beliefs and Lifestyle
Here's a quick biography of Opukahaia:
Major list of resources about Opukahaia, including full text of his
memoirs, and a collection of published accounts from the 19th
century describing Opukaha’ia’s influence on the American
Protestant missionary movement
"NATIVE OF OWHYHEE" FEATURE FILM ON 'OLELO TV. The film is available "on demand" to anyone throughout the world, and will be broadcast at least 4 times on TV in Honolulu during October and November 2011. The film describes how Hawaiian natives at Yale invited the missionaries who came in 1820, and the cooperative blending of cultures which resulted. The following webpage provides details about the film, the broadcast schedule, and how to view it "on demand."
Douglas Warne, "Humehume of Kaua'i - A Boy's Journey to America, an Ali'i's Return Home" Honolulu: Kamehameha Publishing, 2008, 237 pages.
ISBN 978-0-87336-151-4. Printed in China!
Hawaii Public Library Catalog # HB, Kaumualii, Wa
Synopsis published on "Booklines Hawaii" consisting mostly of content from the back cover of the book [additional material by Conklin inside square brackets]:
Humehume was the firstborn son of Kaumuali'i, the last great ali'i nui (paramount chief) to rule over Kaua'i and Ni'ihau. [born about 1799]. As a four-year-old, Humehume was sent to America and promised a Western education. He reached New England but received little schooling and was eventually abandoned. His father presumed him dead.
In actuality Humehume survived his adverse childhood and escaped to join the U.S. Marines. As an adolescent he fought in the War of 1812, was injured in combat at sea, and later traveled to distant lands [Algeria] while serving in the U.S. Navy [punitive mission against Barbary pirates].
[Following his military adventures, Humehume was brought to the attention of the Christian missionaries at the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut. A total of seven Hawaiian natives, including the famous Opukaha'ia, studied Christianity there with a view to helping the missionaries learn Hawaiian language and assist them when they went to Hawaii.]
After sixteen years of separation, he returned to Kaua'i with the first group of Protestant missionaries [arriving in 1820] and reunited with his father.
Yet Humehume’s homecoming was bittersweet. The American missionaries expected him to be fully converted to Christianity and an example to his countrymen. But Humehume – as the son of Kaua'i’s most powerful ruler – was expected to know the ways of his people and to follow the lead of his father. Humehume of Kaua'i is the story of those conflicting expectations.
The accounts of Humehume’s life after his return to Kaua'i illuminate a specific time and place that have received little attention in the history books. The story of his journey also sheds light on Kaua'i’s unique position in the larger context of Hawaiian history. It was Humehume who led the last, desperate revolt against the Kamehameha dynasty in 1824 and his defeat solidified the control of the Hawaiian Islands under one rule.
Evelyn Cook, 100 Years of Healing: The Legacy of a Kauai Missionary Doctor
Kaua'i: Halewai Publishing, 2003 (P.O. Box 460, Koloa, Kaua'i, HI, 96756)
ISBN 0-9723831-0-7; Library of Congress Catalog Card # 2003109480
Hawaii Public Library # HB Smith
A celebration of the contributions to Hawaiian history of the missionaries in general, and especially of missionary doctor James W. Smith of Kaua'i and his descendants. Dr. Smith's oldest son was W.O. Smith, who grew up in Koloa Kaua'i as a playmate and lifelong friend of Sanford B. Dole. W.O. Smith was a leader of the revolution of 1893 that overthrew the monarchy. Later he became a close friend of ex-queen Lili'uokalani, and was her attorney in establishing the Queen Lili'uokalani Childrens Trust, and was appointed by her to serve as its first trustee. He successfully defended her against a lawsuit by Hawai'i's Territorial Delegate to Congress, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole, who tried to invalidate Lili'uokalani's trust in order to get her property for himself. The book also describes the history of Kaua'i in resisting Kamehameha, and the roles of Prince George Humehume Kaumuali'i, and Henry Opukaha'ia, in persuading the missionaries to come to Hawai'i.
Happy Holidays -- not so happy anymore! ethnic cleansing of Hawaiian history.
See sections 1 and 2 for discussion of the importance of Rev. Dr. Gerrit Judd and Rev. William Richards as heroes of the Hawaiian Kingdom in relation to the national holidays Ka La Ho'iho'i Ea (Sovereignty Restoration Day) and Ka La Ku'oko'a (Independence Day)
How Thanksgiving Came to Hawaii
How Christmas Came to Hawaii
Saint Damien, the Leprosy Colony on Molokai, Hawaiian Sovereignty, and the Akaka Bill. Sovereign monarchs of the Hawaiian Kingdom badly abused the victims of leprosy. Today Damien, the patron saint of Native Hawaiians, would not be allowed to join the Akaka tribe.
The leprosy colony on Molokai was established in 1866 by order of King Lot Kamehameha V. It continued under Kings Lunalilo and Kalakaua, and Queen Liliuokalani. About 90% of the lepers were native Hawaiians. The Kingdom government did very little to help the lepers. Catholic missionary Father Damien lived among the lepers, ministered to their needs, contracted the disease and died from it. In 2009 he was canonized a saint during a mass by the Pope. Senator Dan Akaka attended the mass inside St. Peter's Cathedral while hundreds of Hawaiians had to sit outside in the rain for lack of room inside. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs then put a photo of Saint Damien on the cover of its monthly newspaper, calling Damien "the patron saint of Native Hawaiians" even though no church official had given him that title.
SOME CURRENT QUASI-RELIGIOUS CLAIMS THAT ETHNIC HAWAIIANS HAVE GENETICALLY ENCODED RACIAL MEMORY OR UNIQUE ABILITIES TO UNDERSTAND THE WORLD AROUND THEM; AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO RACIALLY SEPARATE SCHOOLING AND TO RACIAL SUPREMACY IN POLITICAL DECISION-MAKING
OHA Racist Kau Inoa TV Commercials -- transcripts and analysis ... Butch Helemano.
Here's what Helemano said:
"Well basically, you know, being Hawaiian allows me to look at the world with a different perspective than others that aren't. In other words we can look at the sea and look at it as a place of sacredness and look at the sky as a place that we hear and look for messages so don't forget who we are and your culture cuz that's the most important thing here as a Native Hawaiian. Kau Inoa is a way for Native Hawaiians to come together as one. To be recognized in the community and in the world as the nation who is rising like the steam rises in the volcano. E aloha mai. O wau Helemano and I placed my name with Kau Inoa."
"Polynesian" Voyaging -- Political Agenda, Ethnic Dominance, Cultural Authenticity, and Blood Nationalism. An extended book review of Ben Finney, "Sailing in the Wake of the Ancestors: Reviving Polynesian Voyaging"
The book asserts the theory of racial memory to justify the authenticity of the modern revival of Polynesian voyaging. Portions of it also discuss the specific human sacrifice religious protocols used in ancient times for voyaging canoes, and how the modern Hawaiians evade those protocols even while claiming the recently revived ceremonies are authentic. The book has numerous footnotes to scholarly publications on the topic of racial memory.
Hawaiian Epistemology and Education -- A claim that anyone with a drop of Hawaiian native blood has genetically and culturally encoded unique ways of knowing and learning; and therefore ethnic Hawaiian children (and other ethnic minorities to a lesser degree) have special needs for uniquely tailored curriculum and instructional methods
The webpage includes links to, and critical analysis of, the work of Manulani Aluli Meyer, Ph.D., who teaches teacher-education at a branch campus of the University of Hawai'i in Hilo.
SOME CURRENT ISSUES SHOWING HOW HAWAIIAN RELIGION IS USED FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES
Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights -- The General Theory, and Why It Does Not Apply in Hawaii
The basic theory is that all ethnic Hawaiians are descended from a primordial ancestor Haloa, who was a child of the gods and a brother to the Hawaiian islands as living beings. Therefore ethnic Hawaiians as a group have communal property rights to control the Hawaiian islands, including a right to the licensing of, and profits derived from, biological research on Hawaii land that leads to the production of medicines, genetically modified foods, etc.
Hawaii Bioprospecting -- Hearings by the Temporary Advisory Committee on Bioprospecting (late 2007), and testimony by Ken Conklin
In 2007 the Hawaii Legislature established a commission on bioprospecting which took testimony in several public hearings. The hearings included an opening chant of a prayer in Hawaiian language calling forth the spirits of the native ancestors ("Na Aumakua"). Text of the chant is provided in Hawaiian and English.
Makua Military Training Vs. Hawaiian Sovereignty -- Using environmental concerns and cultural preservation as ploys to force the U.S. military out of Makua and eventually out of Hawai'i
Stryker Brigade Lawsuit -- Ethnic Hawaiian Activists Use A Religious Legend To Claim Racial Supremacy in Political Power -- Long-Range Attempt to Push the Military (and the United States) Out of Hawai'i
Whose Land Is It? Hawaiian Spirituality, Kingdom Law, and Modern Law All Support Racial Equality
Iolani Palace Rockpile -- Religious Shrine Or Political Symbol?
Religious Expression by Government Officials -- Is Hawai'i Becoming a Theocracy?
Hawaii Legislature Informational Briefing Regarding the Akaka Bill by U.S. Senators Inouye and Akaka, and U.S. Representatives Abercrombie and Case, on March 31, 2005 (Hawaiian language, Christian prayer, failure of Legislature to perform due diligence)
The first part of this webpage explains that praying in Hawaiian language is used as a form of political theatre, somewhat similar to the way the Catholic church formerly conducted the mass in Latin even though nobody in the pews understood Latin -- it's a way to impress an audience with the alleged authenticity and sacredness of the political claims or demands. At the legislative hearing the Christian doxology was sung in Hawaiian by the politicians and most members of the audience, so the webpage includes the text of the doxology in both Hawaiian and English.
BOOK REVIEW OF Aran Alton Ardaiz, Hawaii -- The Fake State (A Manifesto and Expose of a Nation in Captivity). Hawaiian Islands, Truth Of God Ministry, 2008.
Notice that the publisher is "Truth of God Ministry." This book is primarily a claim that Hawaii is not lawfully a part of the United states. But along the way the author repeatedly uses his peculiar religious beliefs to bolster his rhetoric. The book review includes information about the Hawaiian sovereignty group to which the author belongs, "Ke Aupuni O Hawaii Nei", and the religious doctrines espoused by its members. Leon Siu, "Foreign Minister" of the alleged sovereign government, heads the "Aloha Ke Akua" Christian Voice Ministry and is producer of "Christian Heritage in Hawaii" lecture series. He and a couple of his friends who are also performers of Hawaiian music espouse a religious belief that Christian salvation already came to Hawaii through divine revelation directly from Jesus Christ long before the arrival of Captain Cook. Such a claim would appear to give divine authority to the group's demands for political sovereignty, and the religious theory has been viciously attacked in several webpages. The book review includes citations to those webpages, and additional information about the religious views of the "Ke Aupuni O Hawaii Nei" sovereignty group.
Hawaiian Sovereignty, Zionism, and Governor Lingle (Detailed Version) -- Lingle's main motive for supporting the Akaka bill, OHA, race-based entitlements, and Kamehameha Schools' racially exclusionary admissions policy is her strong support for Zionism and her belief that the Hawaiian sovereignty movement is comparable to the struggle to establish and maintain a Jewish nation of Israel.
Twisting History -- Reverend Kaleo Patterson (United Church of Christ) knowingly uses fake Grover Cleveland proclamation from 1894, cites it as fact, and uses it as basis for a media blitz calling for a national day of prayer for restoration of Native Hawaiians and repentance for overthrow of monarchy. Patterson publishes essays in nationwide church publications calling for restoration of Hawaii as an independent nation. Patterson pushes resolution through Hawaii legislature citing joke proclamation as real.
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