Accepted Paper:

I ka ʻōlelo no ke ola: Hawaiian textual materiality, embodied speech and object narratives  

Author:

Noelani Arista (University of Hawai'i at Manoa)

Paper short abstract:

Tracing the 1875 Grand Tour of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop this paper will consider her collection of objects and self fashioning, while suggesting that materiality is also deeply tied to the Hawaiian emphasis on the power of words to give life.

Paper long abstract:

The Hawaiian language textual source base is the largest in any indigenous language in the Polynesian Pacific and the United States. Tracing the 1875 Grand Tour of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop this paper will consider her collection of objects and self-fashioning while suggesting that materiality, is also deeply tied to the importance Hawaiians place on the power of words to give life. Narratives celebrating the power and beauty of Hawaiian royalty in the nineteenth century circulated in the islands through the performance of oli (chant) and mele (song.) Textual archival materials supply both these traditional modes of communicating life narratives while newspapers, personal letters and government documents written in Hawaiian and English relay information of interest to a foreign audience. In what ways can digital and auditory means of communicating information intervene to amplify and better interpret indigenous narratives about objects housed in colonial spaces. How can indigenous textual archives inform museum presentations to evoke meaning from the transit of words, people, and things.

Panel P047
Ka Waihona Palapala Mānaleo: Challenging Provenance in a Time of Resource Abundance