Ahuʻula – the politics of a sacred garment : repositioning moʻolelo and genealogy to extract information on Hawaiian feather cloaks and capes

by Natasha M Lopes

Institution: University of Hawaii – Manoa
Year: 2016
Keywords: feather capes; feather cloaks; Hawaiian
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2069827
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/101392


M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011. Literature on the ʻahuʻula reveals anthropologists employed euro-centric datacollecting procedures and protocols to aid in their study of the function and purpose of the ʻahuʻula. Around mid-century, a number of sub-fields within anthropology blended approaches to further their research on the ʻahuʻula and the people of Hawaiʻi. Analysis of these approaches reveal a systemic bias develops during the midcentury, and without opposition, remained as the leading and authoritative discourse on ʻahuʻula. This thesis is a critique of the development of euro-centric frameworks used to analyze ʻahuʻula. This investigation looks closely at the history of institutionalized research and opens discussion on issues of authority and what constitutes as non-culture based research methodologies. Research of Hawaiʻi oral stories re-positions the ʻahuʻula as a multi-faceted, socio-political tool of human endeavors. A comparison between oral stories and euro-centric viewpoints expose non-native positions that superseded a Kanaka Hawaiʻi worldview of Hawaiʻi chiefly feather capes.