After reading the Dec. 1 letter "Haoles deserve much credit for today's Hawaiian music," we feel that haole take too much credit for our achievements. First, taking our aina, our aloha, our health, and now taking credit for our musical abilities and creativity.
In writing "anti-haole lyrics," we have the right to express our feelings truthfully. Also, when Hawaiians write anti-haole lyrics, it is an emotional reaction based on facts of our history. Historically, Hawaiians have been oppressed and controlled by foreign powers since 1893. Are we not allowed to have feelings of anger and resentment toward the power culture in our own homeland?
The Hawaiian people are not only defined by aloha, a convenient use of our language and culture to continue the cycle of our oppression. We were a very warlike people and had numerous accomplishments beyond this overused, overrepresented term.
We should be defined by our extensive knowledge of our past, our skills and accomplishments (traditional and contemporary) and our people's vision for excellence for the future. Me ka 'o ia 'i'o. - Papa 9.
We are Hawaii's future Native Hawaiian leaders who practice the legacy of our kupuna. We use the musical instruments of native origin, as well as the imposed instruments of the recent past.
Although the haole taught us to read and write, this does not mean that we are willing to sacrifice what we feel in our na'au when we oli (chant) or sing our mele (songs).
We strongly disagree with the Dec. 1 letter implying that Western introductions were the basis for Hawaiian music being what it is today when we ourselves create beautiful oli and mele. Haole do not deserve credit for our musical heritage, but do deserve credit for forcing on us their beliefs, their own cultural practices, and banning our language for generations. - Papa 11."
Kula Kaiapuni ma Kekaulike