Understanding Kanaka Geographies
Ancestral Places explore the deep connections that ancestral Kanaka (Native Hawaiians) enjoyed with their environment. In honours the mo'olelo (historical accounts) of the ancestral places of their kupuna (ancestors), and reveals how these mo'olelo and their relationships with the 'aina (land) inform a Kanaka sense of place. This book elucidates a Kanaka geography and provides contemporary scholars with insights regarding traditional culture – including the ways in which Kanaka utilize cartographic performances to map their ancestral places and retain their mo'olelo, such as reciting creation accounts, utilizing nuances embedded in language, and dancing hula. In Ancestral Places, Oliveira reasserts both the validity of ancestral knowledge systems and their impact in modernity. Her discussion of Kanaka geographies encompasses the entire archipelago, offering a new framework in Kanaka epistemology.
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