1 Aware of the contradiction indigenous studies faces when speaking about the
Native while struggling to resist essentialism, this work aims to contribute to the
growing effort to demarcate alternative and multisited spaces in which indigenous
peoples can construct autonomous identities.
2 Kēhaulani Kauanui notes in her book, Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics
of Sovereignty and Indigeneity, “There is not one accepted founding cosmological
narrative of the Hawaiian world. The Kumulipo is a prominent genealogy of the
universe that came to rule the Hawaiian origin genealogies, but there are a number
of other possibilities to choose from” (Kauanui 2008, 23).
3 The reference to “roots and routes” was first used by Paul Gilroy in his work The
Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (1993), as well as James Clifford
in his book Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century (1997).
4 Ka‘ao is the term for fictional stories, and mo‘olelo is the term for a narrative about a
historical figure, one that is supposed to follow historical events. Martha Beckwith
explains, “Stories of the gods are moolelo. They are distinguished from secular nar-
rative not by name, but by the manner of telling. . . . Folktale in the form of anec-
dote, local legend, or family story is also classed under moolelo” (Beckwith 1970, 1).
The distinction between ka‘ao and mo‘olelo, however, should not be too literal; the
distinction is in the intention of the narration rather than in the facts.
Chapter 1. He‘e Nalu
1 Honolulu Advertiser, November 27, 2005.
2 According to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, in
2012, the state of Hawai‘i welcomed 615,675 tourists in May (397,430 of whom came
to O‘ahu), and 677,218 in June (425,482 to O‘ahu).