Katrina-Ann R. Kapāʻanaokalāokeola Nākoa Oliveira
Ancestral Places explores the deep connections that ancestral Kānaka (Native Hawaiians) enjoyed with their environment. It honors the moʻolelo (historical accounts) of the ancestral places of their kūpuna (ancestors), and reveals how these moʻolelo and their relationships with the ʻāina (land) inform a Kanaka sense of place.
The book elucidates a Kanaka geography and provides contemporary scholars with insights regarding traditional culture—including the ways in which Kānaka utilize cartographic performances to map their ancestral places and retain their moʻolelo, such as reciting creation accounts, utilizing nuances embedded in language, and dancing hula.
A Kanaka by birth, a kumu ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (language teacher) by profession, and a geographer by training, Oliveira’s interests intersect at the boundary where words and place-making meet her ancestral land. Thus, Ancestral Places imbues the theoretical with sensual practice. The book’s language moves fluidly between Hawaiian and English, terms are nimbly defined, and the work of the field is embodied: geographic layers are enacted within the text, new understandings created—not just among lexica, but amidst illustrations, charts, terms, and poetry.
In Ancestral Places, Oliveira reasserts both the validity of ancestral knowledge systems and their impact in modernity. Her discussion of Kanaka geographies encompasses the entire archipelago, offering a new framework in Kanaka epistemology.
About the author
Katrina-Ann R. Kapāʻanaokalāokeola Nākoa Oliveira is a Kanaka scholar. She was born on the island of Oʻahu and raised on the islands of Maui and Oʻahu. She is an associate professor of Hawaiian and the director of Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language within Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She earned dual Bachelor’s degrees in Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies as well as a Master’s and a PhD in Geography.
Read more about this author
View an excerpt here.
"Oliveira makes a laudable effort in bringing classic texts on Hawaiian cosmology, kinship, and kingship in conversation with each other through . . . her own original interpretation. In light of the growing literature that engages both Hawaiian ancestral knowledge and practice-oriented educational materials, teachers in preschool, K-12, higher education, and other learning programs will find this book very practical for their classrooms." -- Mascha Gugganig, Pacific Affairs: Volume 89, No. 1 - March 2016