(en) La Ku'oko'a (or: let's not celebrate Thanksgiving)

Stefan Merten (merten@dfki.uni-kl.de)
Thu, 04 Dec 1997 11:19:50 +0100

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Forwarded from another list with minor edits in the announcment.

Mit li(e)bert"aren Gr"u"sen


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Aloha, ... The sender's dissertation work is based on translations into English of Hawaiian language newspapers, focused on Hawaiian resistance to annexation in 1898. In Hawai`i and elsewhere in the Pacific, 1998 marks the centennial of annexation of the Pacific by American forces, and there is mighty resistance throughout this area against the US desire to "celebrate" what for them was a victory and for us a major turning point in the forced assimilation of Pacific peoples to Americanization. I haven't contributed anything at all to this list, but thought that folks might be interested in knowing that there is a movement alive and well for Hawaiian sovereignty and independence. Since we continue to live in our homeland and to be exploited by a tourism-based economy, it is essential to business interests that they keep some vestige of the so-called "aloha spirit" alive and well as an attraction for potential visitors. The Disneyland atmosphere of Waikiki is becoming stale. Locals never go there, unless they want to hit on unsuspecting tourists or they work in the service industry. Nevertheless, we have managed to hang on to our cultural values and to exists, side by side with many disgusting capitalist features, and still manage to make new allies day by day. ... Lynette Cruz

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Aloha kakou: Thanksgiving is the quintessential colonizers' holiday. It celebrates the first firm foothold of the English on north america, a land populated by indigenous peoples. Thanksgiving has much greater emotional (and economic) impact than Columbus Day because of the attendant ritual feasting and the intense religious overtones. Thanksgiving was not always officially celebrated in Hawai'i nei: after all it has nothing to do with the Kanaka Maoli, and in fact, celebrates the colonization of other indigenous peoples by the same group of people who colonized Hawai'i (Puritans). La Ku'oko'a--Hawai'i's Independence Day--was celebrated around the same time as Thanksgiving from about 1844 until 1893. La Ku'oko'a is the 28th of November. It marks the day, November 28, 1843, that the Ali'i Timoteo Ha'alilio succeeded in obtaining the signatures of the authorities of Great Britain and France on a treaty recognizing Hawai'i as a sovereign nation. Ha'alilio, with the missionary William Richards along as his secretary, traveled through Mexico on foot and donkey to Washington D.C., where they met President John Tyler. President Tyler agreed to the intent of the proposed treaty. Ha'alilio and Richards, armed with his agreement, then went on to Europe, to Belgium, Paris, and London, where the treaty was finally signed. They returned to the United States to cement U.S. agreement. On the journey Ke Ali'i Timoteo Ha'alilio died, on December 3, 1844. Although the treaty of independence did not solve Hawai'i's problem--being a target for colonizers--it was a substantial achievement under international law. This achievement was recognized by the government of the kingdom through the official celebration of La Ku'oko'a. After the haole coup in 1893, and the attempted counter coup of 1895, the Republic government announced that November 28, 1895 --a Thursday--would not be celebrated as La Ku'oko'a. Thanksgiving would become the official national holiday instead. The po'e aloha 'aina--the thousands of Kanaka Maoli opposed to the illegal haole government--were incensed. They ignored the governments orders, and held celebrations of La Ku'oko'a instead. At those gatherings, they told the story of Ha'alilio's journey and significant achievement. James Kaulia of the Hui Aloha Aina said that the Kanaka Maoli recalled with gladness the restoration and perpetuation of the independence of Hawaii, but that their gladness was mixed with feelings of distress because the right to independence had been snatched from the shoulders of the Kanaka Maoli. He said: Ke ku nei ke kanaka Hawaii me he kuewa la,aohe ona aina: The Hawaiian person stands as a homeless vagabond, one who has no land. The colonizers of 1895-1896 not only deprived the Kanaka Maoli of a national holiday, they enacted laws which caused us the loss of our language and the related loss of our own history. That process caused us to be deprived of even the memory of this national holiday. Like the indigenous people of the american continent, we were also deprived of our land, as James Keauiluna Kaulia foresaw. In the process of decolonizing, some of us may want to reject the colonizers holiday, and resurrect La Ku'oko'a instead.

Source: _Ke Aloha Aina_ (Hawaiian language newspaper) November-December 1895, January 1896.

aloha no kakou, noenoe noenoe@hawaii.edu

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"The cause of Hawaii and independence is larger and dearer than the life of any man connected with it. Love of country is deep- seated in the breast of every Hawaiian, whatever his station." - Queen Lili`uokalani _______________________________________________________________

- ---------------- History of this post

From: Noenoe K Silva <noenoe@hawaii.edu> Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 10:49:56 -1000

From: Hawaii Nation Info <info@hawaii-nation.org> Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 14:52:12 -1000

From: "Alan T. Murakami" <atmurakami@compuserve.com> Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 06:39:00 -1000

From: Lynette Hiilani Cruz <lcruz@hawaii.edu> Date: Thu, 27 Nov 97 18:50:47 +0100

From: Research on Anarchism List <ra@alor.univ-montp3.fr> Date: Sun, 30 Nov 1997 11:28:21 +0000

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