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Our Own Liberation: Reflections on Hawaiian Epistemology

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Title: Our Own Liberation: Reflections on Hawaiian Epistemology
Authors: Meyer, Manulani Aluli
Keywords: culture
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LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals.
Issue Date: 2001
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Meyer, M. A. 2001. Our Own Liberation: Reflections on Hawaiian Epistemology. The Contemporary Pacific 13 (1): 124-48.
Abstract: As the Hawaiian political and cultural movement continues to gro w, issues of re presentation,
power, and control are being critiqued—now by Hawaiian minds. In
this essay I look at the fundamentals of Hawaiian epistemology and begin to link
them with the educational re f o rm now underway in Hawai‘i. With the guidance
of twenty mentors, I outline seven epistemological categories that begin to solidify
a distinct way in which to view teaching, learning, intellect, and rigor. These
categories, now struggling to be useful in the Hawaiian Charter School movement,
will inevitably also serve as a way to critique the current colonial system in
Hawaiian language immersion, spotlight the oppression embedded in well-meant
content and performance standards, and highlight the hidden curriculum of
assimilation and the acultural assumptions in pedagogy that exist in Hawai‘i’s
colonial schools. This outline of a Hawaiian philosophy of knowledge expands,
invigorates, and redefines ideas of empiricism, intellectual rigor, and knowledge
priorities—all through Hawaiian ontological lenses. Like any definition of culture
put forth by indigenous practitioners and scholars, it pushes the envelope of
what it means to think, exist, and struggle as a nonmainstream “other,” and as
it details the liberation found in identity, it must also, inevitably, outline the systems
that deter its full blossoming.
ISSN: 1043-898X
Appears in Collections:TCP [The Contemporary Pacific ], 2001 - Volume 13, Number 1

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