Restaging Capt. Cook: Kanaka Ōiwi Women Making History in Territorial Hawaii

March 6, 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Mānoa Campus, Sakamaki Hall A201 & via zoom

In 1928, the Territory of Hawaiʻi hosted the Cook Sesquicentennial which commemorated the anniversary of Captain Cook’s arrival. This celebration tried to legitimize white settler colonial rule by anointing Cook as a forefather who brought Hawai‘i into so-called modernity. These types of histories were largely disseminated by white settlers through state-sponsored texts, commissions, and institutions. I argue that aliʻi wahine, who were mostly excluded from these apparatuses, intervened by performing Hawaiian histories within the limited spaces available to them. I explore how ali‘i Emma Ahu‘ena Taylor and her cohort of women from ‘Ahahui Māmakakaua restaged settler-state histories during the sesquicentennial reenactment of Cook’s arrival. As elite, gendered interpreters of Hawaiian history, they brought Hawaiian men and women on stage to showcase Hawaiian cultural practices and politics that disrupted the colonial script. By doing so, they reasserted a Kānaka ‘Ōiwi sovereignty over the production of Hawaiian history. About the speaker: Noah Hanohano Dolim is a PhD student in U.S. History at the University of California Irvine. His research reveals how ali‘i wahine built and maintained sovereignties outside of the nation-state across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Noah is from Kunia, O‘ahu and currently resides in Hilo, Hawai‘i. Please email to request the zoom link.

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History, Mānoa Campus

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