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He Kuleana Hoʻokaulike: Balancing Tourism and Cultural Perpetuation in the Hilo Lei Day Community

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Title:He Kuleana Hoʻokaulike: Balancing Tourism and Cultural Perpetuation in the Hilo Lei Day Community
Authors:Schuler, Nicole Leigh
Contributors:Genz, Joseph . (advisor)
Heritage Management (department)
Keywords:Cultural anthropology
Botany
History of Oceania
agency
colonialism
show 4 morecommunity
Hawaii
lei
tourism
show less
Date Issued:Dec 2019
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Hilo
Abstract:Tourism in Hilo offers opportunities and challenges for contemporary lei makers in Hilo, particularly those whose lives intersect with the annual Lei Day. In this MA thesis I explore how the Hilo-based Lei Day community engages in agency and cultural sharing as well as the changes in lei making that have occurred over their lifetimes. I use a suite of methods to develop a thematic understanding of tourism-based lei making, including a grounded theory analysis of interviews, participant observation at Hālau LeiManu, observation at the 2018 Merrie Monarch Festival, and an immersive experience akin to the Tongan practice of talanoa. I also illuminate the experiences of lei makers in tourism and how they were impacted by the 2018 Lower East Rift Zone eruption, endangerment of native species, the professionalization of lei making, and the desire to preserve tradition. I argue that contemporary lei makers whose lives intersect with the annual Lei Day in Hilo are balancing their community’s commitment to preserve traditional knowledge on their own terms while being attentive to the ambivalent and often fraught nature of sharing Hawaiian culture in the context of the tourism industry.
Pages/Duration:416 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10790/5238
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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