From On Being Hawaiian | The Nation


From On Being Hawaiian

  • Share
  • Decrease text size Increase text size

Statistically I am part-Hawaiian; although I was reminded one night at a dinner party by a charming, mathematically astute lady, who descends from two prominent early missionary couples, that I am actually three-eighths Hawaiian by blood. All four of my grandparents were part-Polynesian: two actually fifty-percent white and fifty-percent Hawaiian; one who was a mixture of Tahitian, Hawaiian and white; and the fourth, one-quarter Hawaiian and three-quarters white.... My ancestors here included a Spanish rancher; a part-Corsican, part-Tahitian alii woman; an American missionary couple originally from Holden, Massachusetts; a British earl; a Boston businessman; and Hawaiians from both the high-ranking and the lesser, the kau-kau alii, who came originally from the islands of Maui and Hawaii. I am, in depth, a product of Hawaii--an American, yes, who is a citizen of the fiftieth State, but I am also a Hawaiian; somewhat by blood, and in large measure by sentiment. Of this, I am proud.

About the Author

The Nation
The Nation is America's oldest weekly news magazine, and one of the most widely read magazines in the world for...

Also by the Author

The death of Freddie Gray in police custody has sparked outrage over the conduct of the Baltimore Police Department.

From the campaign to conserve hunting lands in the 19th century to the movement for climate justice in the 21st, The Nation has been a leading proponent of the idea that our success as a society can be judged in part by how we relate to the Earth we’ve inherited.

--John Dominis Holt, one of the first voices of the Hawaiian Renaissance, 1964

  • Share
  • Decrease text size Increase text size

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.