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More responses to Jere


Like Ken Conklin, Jere Krischel tries to assert that Hawaiians are not indigenous to Hawaii. (They are.) My stance is that EVERYONE is indigenous to some place. An excerpt:


Jere: "Again, I think you don't understand some basic logic here - when we talk about "differentiation", we need to find something that is DIFFERENT about a group of people."


Me: No, Jere. You do not seem to understand the scientific concept called "significant difference" as it pertains to Western science.



Jere: "And you cannot claim that the practice of olelo, hula, or eating poi by kanaka maoli is any DIFFERENT than those same practices exercised by haoles, japanese, filipinos, samoans, etc."


Me: That [sic] is because you fail to understand that olelo oiwi, hula, and poi and PARTS of the HAWAIIAN culture.




Jere: "Are you asserting that having a cultural history is an indicator of whether or not someone is "indigenous"?"


Me: No. They are separate and distinct. In addition what I AM referring to is that the HAWAIIAN culture is unique and significantly different from other cultures. Hawaiians are also indigenous to Hawaii. That's another point. That is... another significantly different point.



Jere: "Don't we all have cultural history? For example, we all speak english here in the United States - would you then claim that we are all "indigenous" to England?"


Me: Yes... as I have already explicitly stated... EACH OF US IS INDIGENOUS TO SOME PLACE.



Jere: "You are forgetting the fact that both genetically and culturally, kanaka maoli are integrated into hawaiian society. You cannot honestly say that they are separate and distinct from their neighbors - they are mixed through and through, both culturally and genetically."


Me: You are referring to location. Hawaiian culture is IRRELEVANT of location.



Jere: "Tell you what, for every criteria you come up that you think makes kanaka maoli different, do the test I suggested - find people doing those practices, and see if any of them are not kanaka maoli. My bet is that anything you come up with is practiced not only by kanaka maoli and part kanaka maoli, but by all the races in hawaii.



Me: Your so-called "criteria" are NOT criteria of a culture. For example, in 1871 Sir Edward B. Tylor wrote that "culture or civilization, taken in its wide ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society."


A 2002 document from the United Nations agency UNESCO stated that culture is the "set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs":


Also in 1952 Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of more than 200 different definitions of culture in their book, Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions [Kroeber and Kluckhohn, 1952].


Again... the Hawaiian culture is unique. Its language is unique. So is its food and dance (i.e. hula.) I am NOT referring to non-Hawaiians practicing one or all of the aforementioned. Instead the focus is on HAWAIIANS and the HAWAIIAN culture.




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Jere: "Being parts of hawaiian culture does not mean that you can differentiate kanaka maoli based on it, if all races practice that culture and if some kanaka maoli don't practice that culture."


Me: It seems as though you are mistaken. I am NOT referring to if others practice part or parts of the culture. Instead I am referring to the CULTURE itself.



Jere: "Again, you fail to grasp some basic concepts here - we're looking for ways in which kanaka maoli are different than their non-kanaka maoli neighbors. Neither olelo, poi or hula are reserved for only kanaka maoli, and all of them make for poor discriminators."


Me: It seems as though you are mistaken. I have NEVER stated nor claimed that olelo OIWI, poi, and/or hula are reserved for oiwi. You are trying to create that tangent but again... I have NEVER stated that olelo oiwi, poi and/or hula are reserved for oiwi. Again... olelo oiwi, poi, and hula are parts of the HAWAIIAN CULTURE and are unique and significantly different from other cultures.



Jere: "Yes, olelo, poi and hula are traditions passed on from the kanaka maoli settlers of hawai'i - but these traditions are now a part of all of hawai'i, and are not reserved for only 'oiwi. Just as the English language is not reserved for caucasians - we all share that language no matter what our race."


Me: Again... I have NEVER stated that olelo oiwi, poi and/or hula are reserved for oiwi.



Jere: "You cannot differentiate who is an Englishman from who isn't in this country by whether or not they speak english or eat fish and chips."

Me: I agree. HOWEVER the ENGLISH culture is unique and signicantly different from other cultures. I should know. I am PART ENGLISH.



Jere: "Neither can you differentiate who is a kanaka maoli from who isn't in this country by whether or not they speak olelo or eat poi.



Me: For the THIRD time... I have NEVER stated that olelo oiwi, poi and/or hula are reserved for oiwi.



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Jere: "Who made her ashamed? Her parents?"


Me: No... not her parents.




Jere: "Really? Everyone is indigenous to some place?"


Me: Yes. EVERYONE is indigenous to some place. This includes but is not limited to Hawaiians. I have already told you that.



Jere: "How do we determine where they are indigenous to? Although you claimed to have answered that question on my blog, you've been long on rhetoric and scant on details."



Me: First of all, I would think that you would do some research about the word on your own. For example, the word "indigenous" comes from the Latin word, "indigena," which means "a native." A native is a noun and means:

1. One born in or connected with a place by birth.


2. One of the original inhabitants or lifelong residents of a place.


3. An animal or plant that originated in a particular place or region.






Jere: "As a kanaka maoli, are you also indigenous to Tahiti? If not, why?"


Me: Yes.



Jere: If the Tahitians came from indo-china, are they also indigenous from there? If not, how did they lose their indigenous status?"


Me: Yes.



Jere: "If the people in indo-china came from afria, can they also be considered indigenous from there? If not, why?"


Me: YES! And that is why I've explicitly stated that EVERY ONE IS INDIGENOUS TO SOME PLACE. Even Ken Conklin is INDIGENOUS... TO AFRICA :)





Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
acousticate
Nov. 18th, 2005 12:24 am (UTC)
WTF? All these details and he still misses the idea of culture. I can go to Spain, learn Spanish, and do Spanish cultural things...but it doesn't make me Spanish. Being indigenous is a mix of culture and biology. Blarg.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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