There is a wealth of knowledge in the Kanaka Maoli names of the elements, the winds, rains, ocean currents, moon phases, and land formations. Kānaka Maoli ancestral knowledges identify 400,00 akua or elemental forms, each with their own names and elemental functions specific to hundreds of ahupuaʻa, land divisions that generally extend from the mountains to the seas, each embodying the natural processes of growth, decay, and regeneration. The laws of the elements have been deciphered from the art of kilo, intergenerational observation, and forecasting based on these elemental forms and their relationships with each other.
By studying Kanaloa, the deep consciousness of the ocean and ocean people, we can decode the lessons of elemental cartographies that can teach us the reciprocal care we need to sustain this earth. We will look to the possibilities that emerge when Kanaka Maoli ʻike kupuna (ancestral knowledges) focused on abundance is braided with decolonized STEM knowledges to equip us for surviving the changes on this earth that capitalist economies of scarcity cannot. Kanaka Maoli scientists are currently doing that work to bring together these forms of knowledge to adapt traditional knowledgeways to present conditions that will be able to help us thrive intergenerationally.
Kanaka Maoli practitioners see rising tides as the return of Kanaloa, and they are actively engaged in restoration work at loko iʻa (fishponds) and loʻi kalo (taro pondfields) to devise different ways of greeting Kanaloa, from the restoration of stream flows to the fishponds along shorelines, revitalizing polluted estuaries and restoring native ecosystems, to the cultivation of varieties of kalo (taro) with high salinity levels that can be planted along the shoreline. Whales are the carriers of Kanaka Maoli ancestral knowledges, and they play an important part in the restoration of the planet. In this seminar, we will work to bring together ancestral knowledges with modern conditions for resilience in a world where oceanic Kanaka Maoli economies of abundance will continue to thrive into the future.
Kanaka Maoli Oceanic CartographiesMon, Nov 8, 20216:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Tue, Nov 9, 20216:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Candace Fujikane is Professor of English at the University of Hawaiʻi. Her research focuses on Kanaka Maoli, settler-colonial, and critical settler knowledges and cartographies. In 2000, she co-edited a special issue of Amerasia Journal entitled Whose Vision? Asian Settler Colonialism in Hawaiʻi, and that issue was expanded into Asian Settler Colonialism: From Local Governance to the Habits of Everyday Life in Hawaiʻi (University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2008). She has stood for Kanaka Maoli sovereignty and independence for over 25 years, testifying to protect lands and waters and standing on the frontlines against law enforcement. Just this year, she has published her new book, Mapping Abundance for a Planetary Future: Kanaka Maoli and Critical Settler Cartographies in Hawaiʻi (Duke University Press, 2021).
Balaraman, Kavya. “Whales Keep Carbon out of the Atmosphere.” Scientific American, April 11, 2017.
Enomoto, Joy Lehuanani and D. Kealii MacKenzie. “Saltwater Archives: Native Knowledge in a Time of Rising Tides.” Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics, eds. Olivia U. Rutazibwa, Robbie Shilliam. New Jersey: Routledge, 2018: 289-301.
Fujikane, Candace. “Introduction” and “Chapter Six: Moʻoʻāina Cascades in Waiāhole and Heʻeia: A Cartography of Hau(mea).” Mapping Abundance for a Planetary Future: Kanaka Maoli and Critical Settler Cartographies in Hawaiʻi. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2021.
“How Whales Change Climate.” 2014. (Video)
“Kai Palaoa: Kinolau o Kanaloa (divine manifestations of the god of the sea.” Kaipalaoa.com. (website)
Kanahele, Pualani Kanakaʻole, Huihui Kanahele-Mossman, Ann Kalei Nuʻuhiwa, and Kaumakaiwapoʻohalahiʻipaka Kealiʻikanakaʻole. Kūkulu Ke Ea a Kanaloa: The Culture Plan for Kanaloa Kahoʻolawe. Hilo, HI: Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation, February 9, 2009: 77–89.
Kanahele, Pualani Kanakaole, Kekuhikuhipuʻuone Kealiikanakaoleohaililani, Huihui Kanahele-Mossman, Kalei Nuuhiwa, Kuulei Kanahele, and Honuaiākea Summit Group. Kīhoʻihoʻi Kānāwai: Restoring Kānāwai for Island Stewardship. Hilo, Hawaiʻi: Edith Kanakaole Foundation, September 21, 2016.
Konanui, Jerry. “Jerry Konanui on Kalo, Biodiversity, Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science.” YouTube, February 6, 2013 (video)