E n¯a kupa o ka ‘¯aina, mai ka hikina a ka l¯a i Ha‘eha‘e a i ka mole o Lehua; I
greet you with aloha. What follows is my analysis of the gendered and
cultural transformations occurring as Hawaiian men remake their identities
as warriors and as members of a men’s house called the Hale Mua. I write as a
member of the Hale Mua, an indigenous scholar, and an anthropologist. I
see my project as both an intellectual and a political one, and thus I have
some comments on language and terminology.
I do not italicize Hawaiian words, and I usually define them upon first
usage only (though there are a few exceptions). I have thus provided a
glossary for those who are unfamiliar with the Hawaiian words I use in the
text; most words (though not all) are defined there. The revitalization of
Hawaiian language terms and names has been an important part of the
remaking of Hawaiian identity that I seek to analyze and enact in my writing.
The more common vernacular used in the islands and by most of the men
in the Hale Mua is called Pidgin, o≈cially Hawai‘i Creole English (hce).
Emerging from the plantation camps and from the need to communicate
across language barriers, Pidgin has become a marker of ‘‘local’’ (typically
nonwhite, working-class) identity for people who were raised in Hawai‘i,
and for men a similarly ethnic and ‘‘tough’’ vision of masculinity. Pidgin has
acquired a number of valuations, many of them negative (e.g., Pidgin as
‘‘broken’’ or ‘‘bad’’ English) (Sato 1991; Tamura 1996). However, Pidgin is
a legitimate language, and a number of scholars and writers have put enor-
mous e√ort into validating and maintaining its integrity (Da Pidgin Coup
1999; Hargrove et al. n.d.). Most of the men I spoke with used Pidgin to
varying degrees, reflecting the hce continuum today (Sato 1993). For those
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