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Unfit for a queen : moʻokūʻauhau, national consciousness and eugenics in territorial Hawaiʻi

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Item Summary

Title: Unfit for a queen : moʻokūʻauhau, national consciousness and eugenics in territorial Hawaiʻi
Authors: Long, Kerry K. E.
Keywords: Eugenics
Hawaiian Sovereignty
Ola Hou
Issue Date: May 2014
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2014]
Abstract: Moʻokūʻauhau (genealogical succession, pedigree)1 is a critical component to Kanaka ʻŌiwi2 understanding of kuleana, defined by Young as "a received sense of ancestrally-based responsibility", and is a most important part of the fabric of Hawaiian national consciousness3. A eugenics effort in US-occupied Territorial Hawaiʻi would serve to assist in the erosion of an ʻŌiwi national identity and in the construction of a Hawaiian-American racial and national identity specifically by framing ʻŌiwi ancestry as degenerate and positioning good American citizenship as that which would save ʻŌiwi from extinction.
Hawaiian Kingdom subjects who participated in the armed seizure of authority from the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 were of American and European ancestry and held a U.S. American national allegiance. A political and ethnic minority, this small group of men became the civilian arm of the U.S. occupation of Hawaiʻi4, maintaining oligarchic governance over Hawaiʻi throughout the next six decades. The political domination of the new regime did not go unchallenged however as immediately following the armed dethronement of Liliʻuokalani in 1893, an incredible grassroots organizing effort fueled by Aloha ʻĀina (love for land and country)5, mobilized to defend the political independence of the Hawaiian Kingdom from the United States. A realignment of ʻŌiwi national identity centered around moʻokūʻauhau in the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi to one based on race and racial order with the United States, would prove critical to the pacification of this staunch opposition to U.S. American control.
Positioning ʻŌiwi moʻokūʻauhau, a lifeline to nationalism, as degenerate would assist with such a realignment. Influenced by the American eugenics movement, the Hawaiʻi arm took century-old ideas of ʻŌiwi moral and physical decay6 and transformed it from a religious ideology to one couched in science and rationality. However, as with the advancement of such notions by missionaries in Hawaiʻi in the nineteenth century, the twentieth century reproduction of these notions also served to position the haole as superior, more civilized and the natural keeper of power over Kanaka ʻŌiwi and their lands.
Description: M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
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.
Appears in Collections:M.A. - Hawaiian Studies

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