Facing the spears of change : the life and legacy of Ioane Kaneiakama Papa ʻĪʻī

Brown, Marie Alohalani
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2014]
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Ioane (John) Kaneiakama Papa ʻĪʻī began serving in the royal household of King Kamehameha I as a kahu aliʻi (attendant or guardian for an aliʻi) in 1810, when he was ten years old. As a kahu aliʻi, ʻĪʻī was highly familiar with the inner workings of the royal household. He went on to become a respected statesman who was privy to the shifting modes of governance adopted by the Hawaiian kingdom. ʻĪʻī's intelligence and his good standing with those he served resulted in a great degree of influence. At the end of his life, he also became a biographer and memoirist who published accounts in Hawaiian of the key events in his own life and in the lives of others during the sixty years that he served his kings, his nation, and his people. As a privileged spectator and key participant, his accounts of Hawaiian aristocracy and his insights into early nineteenth-century Hawaiian cultural-religious practices are unsurpassed. Over the years, ʻĪʻī faced many personal and political changes and challenges in rapid succession, which he skillfully parried, brushed aside, or grasped firmly and then used to fend off other attacks. He was a highly significant figure, and as a contribution to the ongoing reconsideration of nineteenth-century Hawaiian intellectual and political history, this dissertation takes a close look at the life of this extraordinary man who served five kings over six decades. While recent scholars have to varying degrees noted ʻĪʻī's importance in Hawaiian history, his life has been largely neglected as a topic of study. The few scattered lines devoted to him merely tombstone epitaphs in relation to the vast archive available about his life, his political achievements, and his cultural contributions as a writer. Only one self-written text claims to depict his life, but as I will show, especially in its present English-language state, it falls far short of doing so. What might we learn from examining his life and his writings? This dissertation seeks to answer this question; in the process, it will pay homage to a remarkable man.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
Ioane Kaneiakama Papa ʻĪʻī, Hawaiian, royalty
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). English.
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