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MOʻOLELO ʻO NĀ IWI KŪPUNA: CONNECTING THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF THE NĀ ʻŌIWI MAMO

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Title:MOʻOLELO ʻO NĀ IWI KŪPUNA: CONNECTING THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF THE NĀ ʻŌIWI MAMO
Authors:Halliwell, Tamara Ku'ulei
Contributors:Morrison, Lynn (advisor)
Heritage Management (department)
Keywords:Archaeology
Bones
Burials
iwi kupuna
Date Issued:Dec 2017
Abstract:Nā ʻŌiwi mamo (Aboriginal Hawaiian descendants) have a deep and abiding love and respect for their iwi kūpuna (ancestral remains). In this thesis, I explore the attitudes and perceptions of the nā ʻŌiwi mamo of Hawaiʻi Island and more specifically Hōkūliʻa development community located in Kailua-Kona. I interviewed 20 nā ʻŌiwi mamo who are connected to the burial issues concerning iwi kūpuna. They represent lineal descendants, cultural descendants, and ʻŌiwi archaeologists. Through the coding, five major themes were identified: identity through place and ancestors; kuleana (responsibility) and kāhea (calling); preservation in place; knowledge for advocacy; and self-determination and decision making. An innovative educational module provided the stimulus for kūkākūkā (discussion) on how non-destructive skeletal examinations can produce osteobiographies, or another story, of the lives of the iwi kūpuna. This module was instrumental in understanding the changing lens of nā ʻŌiwi mamo empowerment in protecting and preserving the iwi kūpuna. In this thesis, I demonstrate that the iwi kūpuna have a significant role in edifying ʻŌiwi (Aboriginal Hawaiian) ancestry as well as the ʻŌiwi current cultural identity. I demonstrate this by highlighting the central significance of moʻolelo (stories) in the ʻŌiwi culture, and specifically how osteobiographies are a contemporary form of moʻolelo. Ka poʻe kahiko (the people of old) of Hawaiʻi were haʻi moʻolelo (storytellers). Oli (chant), hula (dance), and moʻokūʻauhau (genealogy) are traditional methods of storytelling. In this way moʻolelo transcend time and space, linking each succeeding generation to the ones before as well as those yet unborn, an unbroken chain of continuity of the ʻŌiwi culture. Osteobiographies can be added to the canon of knowledge passed from generation to generation. The most significant finding is that nā ʻŌiwi mamo in this research project were not opposed to learning the stories of their iwi kūpuna under certain conditions and have it become a part of the historical and cultural canon of nā ʻŌiwi mamo.
Pages/Duration:144 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10790/3416
Rights:All UHH 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.
Appears in Collections: Heritage Management


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