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Native Hawaiian Resources

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After sending out invites that got passed onto some Native Hawaiian lists, decided to start this thread. One of the first responses was from this company that looks to be a pretty good resource.

The latest video they put out is about both a Hawaiian sacred site and Mt Graham.

Thank you for posting this. The link that you provided looks genuinely Hawaiian to me. I am a Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian), and being that we are a small, scattered group, whose homeland has been transformed into a tourist resort, our language, traditions, cultural identity, and spiritual practices have been largely commercialized and perverted by Europeans.

Currently there is a group of people, mostly white, who refer to themselves as Hunians and refer to their organization as Huna. They practice Huna, which they claim to be a Hawaiian religion, and they even go so far as to call themselves kahuna, or priests. However, Huna is not now, nor has it ever been, a Native Hawaiian religion. Huna was conjured up by a non Hawaiian named Max Freedom Long, although in a fruitless effort to authenticate themselves some Hunians claim their religion was started earlier by another white man named William Tufts Brigham. Max Freedom Long claimed to have acquired ancient Hawaiian secrets from his accuaintences while staying in Hawaii. Since then, Huna has been perpetuated by white men, and it has grown exponentionally among non Hawaiians. One of its leaders, Serge Kahili King, has done well for himself by marketing his new age religion through his television show, conferences, and a great number of books that he wrirtes concerning Huna.

I just thought that since this Huna group is continuing to grow, and since its members continue to claim that it is a form of Native Hawaiian spiritualism, it would be important for me to inform others that Huna has nothing to do with the my people. They are a bunch of frauds.

Good to have you here. We really need people to help us on this issue. I've tried wading through what's on the net. All the links on Long are from his followers, and they won't even put out a simple bio of him without you buying one of their books.

I find it pretty curious the claims about Brigham. Seems even more elborate a claim than usual. From what I've been able to piece together, Brigham supposedly uncovered hidden knowledge for 40 years and then decided to hand it all over to Long, whose followers in turn claim to have uncovered it all from him 30 years after his death. And it all seems to be about personal secrets for wealth, hidden knowldge of the future, even sex secrets, some of it sold on websites in German and Italian.

There's several other threads in here I think you might be interested in.

If you have any good links, go ahead and add to the thread. We esp could use sites with Hawaiian activists or elders' words about the exploiters.

A Native Hawaiian professor gave me these resources and also had some interesting comments.
Aloha Dr. Carroll,
Sorry for the delayed response, but I was seriously considering your question. You know what? I can't honestly provide you with a reliable source that I know about. I can provide you with a new website that will have more information in the future.
As far as books, I can't think of anything either except for one book. Here's the data:
Meyer, Manu (2003). Ho'oulu: Our Time of Becoming?Hawaiian Epistemology and Early Writings. Honolulu : Ai Pohaku Press.
Here's her CV:
Other than that I think there is general agreement that Native people don't freely advertise sacred things, which is why good Native literature is scarce. It's not something that people can just plug into on the weekend, if you know what I mean.
But the best answer I can give to your question is to read the vast amount of literature (stories) written by our people in OUR language. We contemporaries today are fortunate that our ancestors were such prolific writers when literacy was introduced. There are some things translated to English, but they are often either taken out of order, out of context, and sometimes the English translation doesn't do it justice.
I hope this helps.
And an earlier email where he said some things so much like what we've said in here over and over.
I'll be brief by simply saying: We gotta stop these hippies from taking over!
So land, women, labor, etc. . . isn't enough. They want our spirituality too.
I can't stand hearing about nude hikers along the Na Pali coast of Kaua'i, rearranging our sacred shrines, and the labelling our Kahuna as Shamans.
How serendipetous this email, as I plan this week to introduce to my class Native spirituality. I show a video about Native Americans called In the Light of Reverence to get the point across. You probably have seen it already.
Me ka ha'aha'a,
Kealoha Kaliko

Excellent article. Found this while searching for Henry Awae, whom Robin Youngblood claims taught her.
Protecting our Thoughts-- Jon Osorio
A speech delivered at Voices of the Earth Conference held in Amsterdam, November 10, 1993.

I would like to begin my presentation today with a story about academic colonialism. In 1980, while still a graduate student, I attended a Pacific Historians Association Conference in Agana, Guam. In one of the presentations, a young research anthropologist was discussing the difficulties of securing "data" on a small atoll, Kapingamarangi in Micronesia. He had secured the services of a Native informant who was well-versed in the arts of magic and science on his island. The researcher, a haole (white man), acknowledged the fact that the Native informant refused to reveal certain dangerous secrets to him. He said it would be necessary to train some young islanders at a university and send them back to Kapingamarangi where they would, doubtless, be more successful at squeezing information from the elder. The researcher's presentation was titled, appropriately, "Wringing it Dry".
I proceeded to challenge the anthropologist's right to take the Islander's knowledge against his will. The researcher was astonished by my question. He was a "scientist" he said, as though that settled the issue. In his pursuit of knowledge he felt entitled to betray the confidence of a man who had given him everything that he had a right to know. I asked the researcher if his paper on the subject would benefit the Native informant as much as it would benefit him.
This story illustrates the incredibly pernicious nature of the western academy and its claims to primacy. Scholars betray how contemptuous they are of other peoples' cultures when they assume that nothing can nor should be hidden from them. As scientists they know that there is nothing dangerous about a shaman's knowledge. With supreme indifference to their trusted position they proceed to wring from us what they can, analyzing and discussing us in workshops and conferences. Hopefully, they will make a career out of training others to do the same.
Given this brand of imperialism, it is necessary for Natives to protect ourselves against yet another form of foreign penetration. But, as usual, we find ourselves at a disadvantage. For not only have we gotten a late start in the business of academia, but we begin with wholly different assumptions about knowledge that not only clash with the Euro-American mode of scholarship, but have an entirely different morality as well.
For over five years now the Center for Hawaiian Studies has been doing battle in the academic arena. The Center has empowered Native scholars by challenging the colonial myth of western scholarly superiority and the hegemony of western science.
While it is true that Native scholarship has been greatly assisted by a more liberal interpretation of historical evidence -- namely the willingness of modern historians to rely on oral testimony and their desire to try to understand events from a Native perspective -- we have also had to continually battle a racial bias that has privileged the haole academic over the Native person, particularly in the area of academic hiring (Hawaiians constitute less than 2% of the faculty at the University of Hawai'i).
But to do battle, successfully, against the colonial assumptions of western scholarship we must be careful that we not forsake our own cultural strengths in the process. We must be aware that there are built-in mythologies in need of exposure and discussion. One myth is the western scholar's belief that knowledge is public property. I propose that in neither the Native nor the haole realm is this true.
In our nearly 2000-year history, Hawaiians have regarded knowledge not as public property but as deeply personal and spiritual understanding. We receive our instruction as signs from our 'aumakua (personal gods) and from mo'olelo (stories) via our kupuna (elders).
>>>In our culture, knowledge is never sold or traded, it is shared. This custom allows non-Natives to profit from our knowledge as we have found it difficult even in modern times to be suspicious and selfish with what we know.<<< Fortunately, at least until the last decade, our knowledge and insights were never considered valuable enough to be extracted by American historians (anthropologists are another matter) who believed that their analyses were sufficient unto themselves.
With the gradual change in scholarly attitudes toward "indigenous perspectives" it has become necessary to protect ourselves from the academic prospector who comes to us hoping to reveal the wonderful and exotic ways in which we view the world. Telling themselves that they are doing the world and indigenous people a tremendous service, they either ignore or rationalize the fact that not everyone benefits equally when they share our information.
Sometimes, however, it is not enough for Native peoples to simply be protective of their knowledge. On the island of Hawai'i, Papa Henry Awae is an accomplished Kahuna la'au lapa'au (professional healer who uses native plants and herbs). He has received his expertise from his forebears and is well versed not only in identifying medicinal plants, but in the important rituals of healing. This kahuna is very careful with whom he shares his secrets. He believes that it is necessary to train someone to take up healing before he passes on. One of the important sources of rare medicinal plants is a dry land rain forest known as Wao Kele o Puna, one of the last remaining forests of its kind in Hawai'i. For the last few years the State of Hawai'i and private corporations have been operating a geothermal plant that will, if it is allowed to expand, destroy this important source of herbs and woods. Papa Awae's significant scholarship cannot be useful if the plants he depends on cease to exist.
Wao Kele o Puna is also an important haven for Hawaiians who practice the worship of Pele, the fire Goddess. For these, her descendants, the geothermal project is a horrible desecration of their Goddess as rods are thrust into the literal body of Pele in order to extract her life force. Geothermal supporters who argue that the plant will benefit the public (a claim that has yet to be proven) have consistently refused to acknowledge the validity of Hawaiians' cultural and intellectual property. The issue involves more than simply patenting our information. We must also protect the land on which that knowledge can be practiced.
In Hawai'i, Native people and our lands have been exploited by Europeans, Americans and recently, the Japanese. After the lands were divided and sold to foreign settlers, and after Hawaiians suffered enormous depopulation from introduced disease, we found even our beliefs and arts could be appropriated by people with money. The commodification of the hula represents the most monstrous desecration of a once deeply spiritual art form whose composition and performance were dedicated to our Gods and to our chiefs.
>>>Today there are hundreds of halau (schools of hula) in Japan where Japanese instructors profit from their peoples' insatiable desire to be someone else and who can afford to pay for that fantasy.<<<
....It is not enough for Native peoples to rely on well-meaning international resolutions like this draft declaration. We must act on our own behalf. That requires, unfortunately, forsaking our innocence and accepting that our knowledge can be construed as property. On the other hand, I believe that the western scholar must also concede that he/she has operated from a moral principal that is, at the very least, inappropriate when dealing with Natives and, at its worst, a deceitful exploitation. Scholars would do well to ask themselves, before they come to study us and while they write their dissertations, "Whose loss underwrites my gain?"


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