Miss Represented: Misrepresentations of Kanaka Maoli Women in American Cinema and Moolelo as Alternative Method

Date
2016-12
Authors
Leao, Oriana
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Publisher
[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2016]
Abstract
Since 1898, countless American films have depicted “Hawaiian” women but only a handful that uniquely convey the lived experiences, well-being, and accurate cultural depictions of Native Hawaiian women. This text argues that Native Hawaiian women have been misrepresented in American Cinema and that Native Hawaiian mo‘olelo (stories and oral histories) should be utilized as an alternative method for representing Native Hawaiian women. This thesis offers an analysis of the film Princess Ka‘iulani (2010) by director Marc Forby in order to explore examples of the very gendered, nationalist, historical, and racialized ways in which Kānaka women have been depicted. The second part of this thesis explores the ways in which Kānaka women could be depicted differently through a discussion of mo‘olelo and mana wahine. The hope of this study is to provide a space where representations of Native Hawaiian women in American Cinema can be discussed in a way that is productive and constructive. The goal is to shift past multifaceted arenas of difference and reimagine ways to remap difference.
Description
M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
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