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Title: The discourses (re)constructing the sacred geography of Kahoʻolawe Island, Hawaiʻi 
Author: Chun, Allison A
Date: 2002
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: Kahoʻolawe Island, Hawaiʻi is a wahi pana and a puʻuhonua, a sacred place and a place of refuge, according a U.S. Congressional report. Despite this official statement, multiple, overlapping, and contested views of Kahoʻolawe exist. Different discourses of nature produce partial, problematic, and situated knowledges of Kahoʻolawe, each with different material consequences. Chapter 2 discusses discourses of knowledge and nature as well as the social construction of place, and the concepts of cultural hybridity, Third Space, and borderlands which help resolve multiple senses of place within overlapping cultures. Chapter 3 is a nutshell argument of this dissertation. My interpretation of an environmental and land use history of Kahoʻolawe describes the sequence of stewards on the island, each of their dominant discourses of nature, the resulting land use practices and environmental consequences. Obviously some of these knowledges and practices are better than others. I use as points of departure the desire to obtain and maintain a more integral, undegraded physical landscape, and the Native Hawaiian concept of aloha ʻaina or Hawaiian peoples' spiritual and familial relationship to land which vitally links cultural conservation with biological conservation. The spiritual ecology of aloha ʻaina provides a profound critique of and alternative to destructive and exploitative discourses of nature. Chapters 5 and 6 describe the sacred landscapes of Kahoʻolawe produced by such a spiritual discourse of nature. Technocratic approaches to nature such as Western science and law also provide knowledges and means which contribute to the construction of these sacred landscapes (Chapter 4 and 7). Chapter 8 describes some of the contested landscapes which currently exist on Kahoʻolawe as well as efforts of individuals to cross borders and exist in several cultures. Realization that Kahoʻolawe is a social construct and a contested place exposes cultural hegemonies, power relations, and processes which support and sustain them. Deconstruction of dominant or naturalized views move conflicts to a Third Space to negotiate meaning and identity. Acknowledgment of nature's sociality from the start of negotiation is essential for development of official policies and statements.
Description: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2002. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 453-477). Mode of access: World Wide Web. Also available by subscription via World Wide Web xx, 477 p. ill., maps
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Keywords: Kahoolawe (Hawaii)

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