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Notes: Contextualizing Research with ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi Resources.
This purpose of this page is to give students and researchers access to the theoretical basis for doing work in ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. The texts presented here are in English, but all have engaged with the corpus of Hawaiian language materials, and have integrated those materials and knowledge, into wider spaces.
The importance of having contexts, historical, academic, and socially; for Hawaiian language materials cannot be overstated. These books and articles provide such a context and will enrich ones study of works in ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi.
The below books are a sample of the works that deal with translation, mistranslation, or missapropriation of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi texts. Some are more direct with such criticisms,while others are less so. All are available through the UH Voyager catalog.
Aloha betrayed: native Hawaiian resistance to American colonialism by
Call Number: DU625 .S49 2004
Publication Date: 2004
In 1897, as a white oligarchy made plans to allow the United States to annex Hawai'i, native Hawaiians organized a massive petition drive to protest. Ninety-five percent of the native population signed the petition, causing the annexation treaty to fail in the U.S. Senate. This event was unknown to many contemporary Hawaiians until Noenoe K. Silva rediscovered the petition in the process of researching this book. With few exceptions, histories of Hawai'i have been based exclusively on English-language sources. They have not taken into account the thousands of pages of newspapers, books, and letters written in the mother tongue of native Hawaiians. By rigorously analyzing many of these documents, Silva fills a crucial gap in the historical record. In so doing, she refutes the long-held idea that native Hawaiians passively accepted the erosion of their culture and loss of their nation, showing that they actively resisted political, economic, linguistic, and cultural domination. Drawing on Hawaiian-language texts, primarily newspapers produced in the nineteenth century and early twentieth, Silva demonstrates that print media was central to social communication, political organizing, and the perpetuation of Hawaiian language and culture. A powerful critique of colonial historiography, Aloha Betrayed provides a much-needed history of native Hawaiian resistance to American imperialism.
Mai Pa'a I Ka Leo: historical voice in Hawaiian primary materials : looking forward and listening back by
Call Number: DU625 .N64 2009
Publication Date: 2010
In just over a century, from 1834 to 1948, Hawaiian writers filled 125,000 pages in nearly 100 different newspapers with their writings. The contents of those papers span a period when noted historians, expert genealogists, skilled storytellers, and cultural specialists were numerous, and their knowledge was intentionally recorded in writing for their contemporaries and for generations of the future. Though scholars have generated entire books of history and legend with what they've extracted from these papers, only a tiny fraction, less than one percent of the whole, has been translated and published. The rest, equal to well over a million letter-size pages of text, remains untranslated, difficult to access in the original form, unused, and largely unknown. The most familiar English translations have developed into a canon of chosen texts. The books that make up this powerful canon are problematic at best, and yet flawed as they are, they have been the foundation of Hawaiian knowledge for most readers, teachers, and researchers for generations. Not only do these translations inadequately represent even the originals from which they were taken, but they further compound the problem by eclipsing the larger body of original writings that remain unrecognized. MAI PA'A I KA LEO focuses on how Hawaiian knowledge from the past has been handled in a basically English speaking world. Author M. Puakea Nogelmeier highlights the need to recognize and reincorporate the full array of historical Hawaiian resources into the foundations of current knowledge.
Links have been provided for the following articles.
Arista, Noelani. "Navigating Uncharted Oceans of Meaning: Kaona as Historical and Interpretive Metho
Arista, Noelani. "Navigating Uncharted Oceans of Meaning: Kaona as Historical and Interpretive
Method." PMLA 125, no. 3 (May 2010): 663-69.
Kuwada, Bryan. "To Translate or Not to Translate: Revising the Translating of Hawaiian Language Text
Kuwada, Bryan Kamaoli. "To Translate or Not to Translate: Revising the Translating of Hawaiian
Language Texts." Biography 32, no. 1 (Winter 2009): 54-65.
Williams, Ronald. "ʻIke Mōakaaka, Seeing a Path Forward: Historiography in Hawaiʻi.
Williams, Ronald. "ʻIke Mōakaaka, Seeing a Path Forward: Historiography in Hawaiʻi." Hūlili:
Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-Being 7 (2011): 67-90.