Hawaiian Enough: Insecure Identities, Racialization, and Recognition among Kānaka Maoli

dc.contributor.advisor Tengan, Ty P. K.
dc.contributor.author Hennessey, Shannon Pōmaikaʻi
dc.contributor.department Pacific Islands Studies
dc.date.accessioned 2022-07-05T19:58:53Z
dc.date.available 2022-07-05T19:58:53Z
dc.date.issued 2022
dc.description.degree M.A.
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10125/102271
dc.subject Pacific Rim studies
dc.subject Ethnic studies
dc.subject authenticity
dc.subject everyday acts of resurgence
dc.subject Hawaiian identity
dc.subject Indigenous methodologies
dc.subject racialization
dc.subject recognition
dc.title Hawaiian Enough: Insecure Identities, Racialization, and Recognition among Kānaka Maoli
dc.type Thesis
dcterms.abstract Many Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) carry insecure cultural identities, or feel they are not “Hawaiian enough.” In recent decades, scholars have agreed that accusations of “inauthentic” Indigenous people and cultures are relics of settler colonialism. However, authenticating measures of “Hawaiianness,” including racialized criteria based on blood quantum and phenotype, have been internalized and imposed within our community. To address the gap in scholarship that directly confronts this insecurity, I facilitate in-depth interviews with eight Kanaka Maoli participants. Validating felt knowledge from the naʻau (gut, source of feeling and instinct), I employ what I call “naʻauao as methodology” during interviews, encouraging participants to name their emotions, thus elucidating emotional realities and creating spaces for healing. Instructed by these responses, as well as my own lived experience as a Hawaiian, I draw from the ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi term “ʻike” (to see, to know, to feel) to suggest a relationship between feeling, knowing, and seeing in insecure Kanaka Maoli identities. Not feeling Hawaiian enough is deeply connected to a lack of knowledge (real or perceived) about what it means to be Hawaiian. For Kānaka who do not code as Hawaiian, not feeling adequately Hawaiian can be fundamentally linked to not being seen as Hawaiian. In particular, Kānaka who code as white or Asian might not know their community, nor will they be seen as Hawaiian, by virtue of their racial and socioeconomic privilege. Rooted in an intellectual moʻokūʻauhau (genealogy) of Indigenous resurgence and relationality, I propose we refuse state-based logics of identity and protect our relationality through reciprocal kōkua (help, support, work) and reciprocal recognition to affirm that we are Hawaiian enough.
dcterms.extent 143 pages
dcterms.language en
dcterms.publisher University of Hawai'i at Manoa
dcterms.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.
dcterms.type Text
local.identifier.alturi http://dissertations.umi.com/hawii:11303
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