The sociopolitical climate of Hawai'i has changed substantially in
recent decades and archaeologists working to decipher the islands'
past are increasingly faced with a complexity of issues involving
Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) concerns. Among these are the push
for sovereignty; cultural perpetuation and revitalization; legal
challenges to Kanaka Maoli programs, such as Hawaiian Home Lands
and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; and compliance with the Native
American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). In
Kuleana and Commitment, Kathleen Kawelu examines the often
tension-filled interactions between Kanaka Maoli and archaeologists
in Hawai'i by conducting an ethnographic investigation of the
discipline of archaeology itself. She explores the development of
Hawaiian archaeology, discusses important cases of the recent past,
and focuses on the interpersonal relationships between these two
key groups involved in heritage management in Hawai'i. By revealing
and understanding the contemporary attitudes of Kanaka Maoli and
archaeologists toward each other, Kawelu suggests a change in
trajectory toward a more collaborative approach in practicing
Hawaiian archaeology. Through interviews with individuals from both
sides, Kawelu taps into collective narratives that reveal two
overarching themes. The first narrative speaks about the
continuation of Kanaka Maoli cultural practices and beliefs, for
example, kuleana (responsibility); the second speaks about the kind
of commitment to Hawaiian archaeology and Kanaka Maoli descendants
that is desired from archaeologists. Requests for respect,
communication, and partnership are heard in the narratives. These
same qualities also serve as the foundation for community-based
archaeology, which challenges the exclusive access of
archaeologists to the past and places the discipline and its
practitioners among a broader community of stakeholders,
particularly descendant communities.
University of Hawaii Press
|Country of origin:
||229 x 152mm (L x W)
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