Ke Ao Maoli

Stumbled across a website, basically where anyone can contribue stories. Someone decided to write a story about Slavery in Hawaii, posing the question of Hawaii ever had African Slaves.

The article doesn't really focus on that, but the writer decided to outline a timeline regarding Hawaii's kauwa or "servant" class which is always interpreted by westerners as a slave.

I replied pointing out a few things, but one in particular which bothers me whenever people try to cite sources, sometimes they don't get it right. I've seen it before and it happened in this article. The person wrote:

1870 it was published locally, "Today, with the breaking down of class barriers, members of the slave class are indistinguishable from the ruling classes." (Kepelino, 142-147; Kamakau, Ke Au Okoa, November 3, 1870.)

I corrected that person saying that passage actually comes from a book called "Hawaiian Mythology" by Martha Beckwith & even cited the page number. That they quoted only a part of the very first sentence, and in that long paragraph, Beckwith quoted a few words from Kepelino's "Traditions of Hawaii" but that she also cited Samuel M. Kamakau's article which was printed in the newspaper - Ke Au Okoa dated November 3, 1870.

I'm sick & tired of people trying to paint a particular image of Hawaiians. It's really bad when they try to look authentic and credible by citing sources but it's done incorrectly and in most cases, it comes from non-Hawaiians. Apparently a Hawaiian perspective (or any indigenous person for that matter) aren't credible enough, in which sometimes they like to cite academics, but the problem is not all academics may have done their research thoroughly as it was done in this article.

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Comment by da princess on December 24, 2009 at 11:01am
aloha kalani,

most of my kupunas all died, and the other rest of them is lost somewhere out there.
in my research my kupuna kahiko's (ancestors) surnames was changed to an English name.
momona to momosea, keahi to adams, kaina to kahan and now i am left with the words of
the past that was left with me, to seek the legal papers to match the names of my ancestors,
was challenging, however trust in Akua and he will direct you to places and people to provide
the needed information at the right time. just this past year i have been hanging out at the courts
viewing the written documents of my ancestors and found my ancestors by using other surnames
of another ohana to locate the facts of original documents that leaded me to their original surnames.
seems like the males in the military, was targeted to change surnames in that generation.

in the documents that showed my grand mama a servant, noted all illegal plantation workers as laborers not slaves. the documents does not describe the duties of my grand mama as a servant, however at age 16 yrs. can you imagine, the wealth she would get as a servant, i don' t think so. and nothing was benefitted from her slavery, unlike the plantationers today, they all own land, business and homes because of them being laborers, not slaves.

my grand mama picture of her is not a pleasant picture to view, she looked very sad, a hard life is in her eyes and has a scared deep embedded on her face. i sit and wonder the lifestyle she was forced to live under the direction of foreigners/outsiders, both my great grand mama and papa died at an early age, both pure hawaiians, i now am researching what killed both of them at an early age leaving behind two young daughters behind (one of them was my grand mama). oh well thats an other story to share with my mo'opuna's.........hidden stories, that needs to be shared with our next generations to come, da 7th generation!!!!............~da princess~
Comment by Inalako on December 23, 2009 at 4:52am
e da princess,

Interesting story of your grandma. I'm wondering how many kanaka oiwi were servants to Haoles, and most importantly what exactly did that mean. For example, were they free to do as they pleased provided they gave some type of servitude to the people they served? Unlike the African slaves in the US, they were treated like animals. The White slaves in the US didn't fair as well either.

Of course this is understandable since Americans had slaves, and even after 1843, it is understandable why Hawaiians did not have slaves but that the Whites could have had some type of servants since they never saw POC as equals.
Comment by da princess on December 21, 2009 at 5:57pm
interesting because someone told me that the plantationers, illegally bought to hawaii, was slaves......
my research shows that they were not slaves, but was given the choice to seek a better opputunity in hawaii.
however, doing my research of my Mo'okuauhau (genealogy), around the same time as the plantation era, my
grand mama was a servant to a white ohana, not by choice for a better life but a lifestyle that we soon be forgotten. she was a servant at age 16yrs and was taken away from her ohana, it is documented in her files, under this illegal system.
so in our ohana history, yes, my kanaka maoli grand mama, (pure hawaiian)--was a slave in Hawaii, in her own
Hawaiian Kingdom Government......Hewa (wrong) done to a lost generation, that will not be forgotten by the Heirs of our Grand Mama, in my generation today.
Comment by Kaohi on December 21, 2009 at 2:44pm
You are right!!

And I value your precision in languaging ones thoughts. Much mahalo Kaohi

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