An Ethnohistory of the Early Hawaiians on Kaho’olawe

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2014-09-26
Authors
Okazaki, Karen
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Hawaiian Studies
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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It is my belief that the Early Hawaiians occupied the island of Kaho'olawe permanently and that it was a functioning unit of the Hawaiian Island Chain. I think that the Early Hawaiians were able to use the island's resources and live there self-sufficiently for a long period of time. I also think that the island of Kaho'olawe was considered important enough to be included in inter-island communications. I feel that the myths, legends and archaeological data are viable means with which to prove my theory because: (1) the Early Hawaiians had no written accounts of their life but only oral traditions which include myths, legends and geneologies, (2) many informants of Hawaiian culture and history are of recent birth or have memories only up till the period of European contact, (3) the written accounts of the explorers and Hawaiian scholars like Malo, Kamakau and Kepelino, can be applied only to the Contact Period or the period just before contact. Archaeology is the only direct evidence we have of the period prior to 1778. Therefore the only resources we have available to reconstruct early Hawaiian life are the oral traditions and archaeology. The following definitions are the ones that I have used to serve as a guideline for my paper. Mythology as defined by Malcolm Chun is a traditional story which may deal with gods or animals. It explains the origin, religious matters and sanction customs which are considered sacred. Myths were created to explain the unknown forces of nature. Legends, also defined by Malcolm Chun, are secular or sacred stories having historical background and humans play the major role. Archaeology according to Dr. Tuggle, is the study of the relationship between material things and human behavior. It is not just a study of the past but the study of the remains to reconstruct the behavior which produced the remains.
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iv, 40 pages
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