Humanity is found in the sea. “Humanity”: human beings collectively; the
fact or condition of being human; humaneness. But if we are born from
the ocean, and Kānaka Maoli ancestors are still living in its depth as coral
polyp and sandpaper sharks, is the seascape also human? It is at least as
complex and alive, and it affects our souls, creating states of wonder that we
call being “human.” The sea is also a body that can be intuited only through
the poetic:
Waka 93
My face is broken by the waves.
I am the sea, ocean, giver and taker,
primordial pre-culture pre-life.
To define me is to limit me,
one may as well define the planet.
Yet I am delicate, can feel a piece of wood
slip across my eye, can feel the calls
of men rowing as they dip into me
as if I was a well to scoop from.
Some of these I have taken
into the waters of my being.
So I am part human.
(Sullivan 1999, 103)
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