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FOLKLORE AS RESISTANCE IN POSTCOLONIAL NARRATIVES AND CULTURAL PRACTICES: HAWAIIAN, AFRICAN AMERICAN, AND IRAQI

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Title:FOLKLORE AS RESISTANCE IN POSTCOLONIAL NARRATIVES AND CULTURAL PRACTICES: HAWAIIAN, AFRICAN AMERICAN, AND IRAQI
Authors:Al-Shwillay, Dhiffaf Ibrahim
Contributors:hoʻomanawanui, kuʻualoha (advisor)
English (department)
Keywords:Pacific Rim studies
African American studies
Middle Eastern literature
Folklore
Middle Eastern Literature
show 4 moreMoʻolelo
Postcolonial novels
Postcolonial theory
Resistance Narratives
show less
Date Issued:2019
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Abstract:Colonialism radically transformed the cultures of colonized peoples, often rupturing Indigenous traditions and folklore. Whether creating colonial discourse, promoting orientalist literature, advocating western educational institutions, or through biased media representations, imperial powers systematically oppressed Indigenous and Native peoples. Subjugated communities, however, created, and still form postcolonial discourse from their knowledge systems. This discourse insists on Indigenous and Native culture as central to Indigenous and Native peoples identity. This study examines the postcolonial literature of three groups: Kānaka Maoli, African Americans, and Iraqis.
The scope of this dissertation scrutinizes how folklore is employed as resistance in the postcolonial literature of Kānaka Maoli, African Americans, and Iraqis. Folklore as Resistance in Postcolonial Narratives and Cultural Practices: Hawaiian, African American, and Iraqi focuses on the centrality of folklore and cultural histories in the literature of these three groups. Kānaka Maoli emphasize the mo’olelo (hi/story) in their literature. Moʻolelo acts not only as a means to pass down hi/story and culturally significant stories from generation to generation (a genealogy) but also as a mode of resistance to hegemonic and imperial powers. Moʻolelo are not merely legends or myths; instead, they represent ancestral knowledge and connection to Kānaka history. Kānaka Maoli claim and revive ancestral moʻolelo in their literature and cultural performance to illuminate their relationship to place, ʻāina, and their country, the Hawaiian Kingdom.
In this work, Dhiffaf al-Shwillay suggests that there are similar tendencies in the literature of Kānaka Maoli, African American, and Iraqis. The folklore and literature of these groups signify the histories of oppression and/or colonization and its aftermath.
finds that Kānaka Maoli, African American, and Iraqi folklore in literature can be read as resistance to orientalism, oppression, and stereotyping. Following the trajectory of the historical and cultural context for the literary productions of these three communities, she offers analysis and reading of Sage Takehiro, Dana Naone Hall, Haunani-Kay Trask, Brandy Nālani McDougall, Zora Neale Hurston, Badr Shakir al-Sayyab, and Selim Matar.
This dissertation concludes by emphasizing the dynamic political and cultural value of moʻolelo and folklore in postcolonial narratives. Al-Shwillay asserts that literature that draws upon folklore and cultural histories transmits evidence of oppressive powers and, crucially, resistance. In this mode of examination of postcolonial literature, al-Shwillay asserts that folklore records the resistance of peoples through their literary production. Folklore carries the knowledge of ancestors, cultural, and history.
Pages/Duration:174 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/63497
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - English


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