Sunday, January 18, 2009


click on photos to enlarge!

"States are not moral agents, people are, and can impose moral standards on powerful institutions."
Noam Chomsky

"If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law." Henry Thoreau

"The first principal of nonviolent action is that of noncooperation with everything humiliating."
Cesar Chavez

Yesterday, January 17th, marked the 116th anniversary of the overthrow of the legitimate Hawaiian Kingdom largly at the hands of American residents - some born in the islands.

Wearing a red shirt and carrying a small Hawaiian flag I joined the Ku I Ka Pono March commemorating the sad event, and protesting Governor Lingle (R). She is attempting to monetize the Royal Lands which the State administers SUPPOSEDLY for the benefit of the Native Hawaiian People, the Kanaka Maoli. Many of our airports, harbors & public university campuses stand on these so called "ceeded lands." and yet Hawaiian elderly, handicapped and families with babies sleep under tarps at remote beaches.

In 1998 scholars working in the National Archives in Washington D.C. uncovered a document forgotten for a hundred years: the Ku`e Petitition. It had been sent to Congress to protest the Queen's arrest and demanding the resotration of soveriegnty. It had been signed by almost every citizen of these islands. When copies circulated in the press, contemporary Hawaii citizens were touched and uplifted to see their Kupuna's (elders) signatures on the suppressed and forgotten document. President Clinton formally apologized for the U.S. role, but. . .

Loving Hawaii and her people as I do, while loving the land of refuge for my Kupuna - the U.S.A. - is like being the child of a complicated marriage. You love both of your parents, but must wonder at their relationship sometimes. Most Hawaiians are proud citizens of the U.S. and they serve, and have served the nation with distinction. But as they fight for the freedom of others, they no doubt long for their rightful dignity at home in these islands. . .

Kaulana Na Pua
"Famous are the Flowers"
"The Stone Eating Song"

Famous are the people of Hawaii
Who love the land, the `aina
Who care not for the wealth of the world
But are satisfied
With the pohaku, the stones of this `aina
They rather take the stones for bread

No one will fix a signature
To the paper of the enemy
With its sin of annexation
And sale of Native Civil Rights

We do not value
The governments sums of money.
We are satisfied with the stones
Astonishing food of the land.
January, 1893
A L O H A? Cloudia


Sepiru Chris said...

Reflecting slightly on Gandhi's initial experiments in Satyagraha in South Africa, and upon Gandhi himself, Prof. Gilbert Murray (Oxon.) writes in his essay "The Soul as it is, and How to Deal with it":

Persons in power should be very careful how they deal with a man who cares nothing for sensual pleasures, nothing for riches, nothing for comfort or praise or for promotion, but is simply determined to do what he believes to be right. He is a dangerous and uncomfortable enemy, because his body, which you can always conquer, gives you so little purchase on his soul.

the walking man said...

Knowing how and why situations came to be only brings resolution as long as historical wrongs are first acknowledged by the wrong doer and forgiven by the wronged.

It would seem that 15th century European manifest destiny ideology doomed indigenous people the globe over. We leap forward 600 years and to this day find that native peoples, longing to express their own culture, still have to argue and fight the old colonial powers.

If assimilation was the goal of those powers it has failed miserably due to the strength of them who carry their culture ever into the future.

May the roots of indigenous cultural power never fade, for at the least it is a stark reminder to us who would subdue them that we have done much wrong in the world.

Anonymous said...

Mahalo, Cloudia, for reminding us of Hawaii's takeover. To truly respect the Islands and the beautiful spirit of their people, Mainlanders should watch the PBS documentary of "Hawaii's Last Queen." The last Queen chose not to fight a literal battle with the U.S. military and Congress, in order to save the blood of her people. (Our "hidden history.) I feel grateful to be permitted to visit after the Hawaiian's had the Islands stolen out from under them!

Your hometown tour makes me feel like I'm hangin' out as if YOU are my high school could give personal tours like Al.

I love your "Cathedral" description -- yes the mountain landscape is like looking up into a capture the amazing essence and experience of Hawai''ve warmed up the winter...mahalo...your word tunes seem like a Hawaiian Maya Angelou...more books, a soulful walking guide...tape recordings?

Dave King said...

Your quotes are always so on the ball and thought-provoking!

Akelamalu said...

Sometimes we have to make a stand and stand tall to make the point. Well done to you. x

Anonymous said...

You just educated me, Cloudia. It hit me all at once s that the last states to become part of the got short shrift in school--always at the end of the year the social studies teachers could barely get us kids out of WWII. Now I see what I didn't learn.

Colonialism wearing the clothes of democracy often makes a bride of its prisoner. Sad thing. Worse yet is when the colonial power tries to tell his bride he did her a huge favor.

Thanks for this post about being the daughter of a complicated marriage.

magiceye said...

sad but a fact one wishes to change? tough decision as you point out!

namaste and aloha

Carver said...

Great post Cloudia. Beautiful photographs, quotes and thoughts.

Deborah Godin said...

This reminds me of some lyrics from a Buffy Sainte-Marie protest song I first heard back in the
'60s. The song, in case you don't know it, is "Now That The Buffalo's Gone" and the line is, "it's still going on here today". Hopefuly someday it won't be true. Great post!

Daryl said...

I would sign any petition necessary if it would help


Charles Gramlich said...

I didn't know about these marches. Very interesting.

Mediterranean kiwi said...

sad events that made hawaii what it is today

Gran said...

Thanks for the education, Cloudia. Breathtaking quotes.

Eric S. said...

Wow, I really had no idea. That goes to show how much history is told by the victors. I always like to find new historical facts now, not so much when I was in school where such things should have been done

I hope you enjoyed the weekend, and have a great week.

Aloha (because I now know what it means, thanks)

Cloudia said...

Chris- Appropriate for Martin Luther King Day tommorrow! Thanks so much.

Walking Man: "May the roots of indigenous cultural power never fade, for at the least it is a stark reminder to us who would subdue them that we have done much wrong in the world." AMEN Brother

Drum Major: Thanks for being such a wonderful companion on our strolls!

Dave King: Your interest and support are a treasure to me.

Ake: That's how I feel about your character!

MagicEye: You are indeed perceptive & thoughtful. Indeed I never stated MY preferences in the matter. I would be proud to have duel US/Hawaii citizenship. I feel enormous loyalty to BOTH and to all my fellow beings on this planet WHEREVER they live. Perhaps the Hawaiian people could use the ceeded Royal lands as the base of their own nation - in the manner of other indigenous people in Canada and other places. I believe that corporations fear that tourism and possible gambling in an independant Hawaiian Nation would "steal" the corporate "tourism industry."
Wouldn't YOU rather stay with and support the first people rather than just a business? Me Too.

Carver: Thank you, discerning artist!

Deborah G: Oh thank you for reminding me of dear Buffy! You are on my team, I can tell.

Daryl: You have a good heart.

Thanks to ALL annonymous readers; Aloha to you ALL!

Cloudia said...

Charles- Glad to spread knowledge of this buried history. You are educated & interested and did not really know about this, so I feel good about posting this. Thanks!

M. Kiwi: Your heart is in the right place!

Gran: Love ya, Sistah.

Eric S: Thanks for your support. Your closing: "Aloha (because I now know what it means, thanks)"
is one of the nicest things you could say of my blog. Thanks SO much. Aloha & Namaste to you and to ALL-

Junosmom said...

Cloudia, I enjoyed your post. I missed reading them while I've been attending to Dad. It is sad what has been lost both in Hawaii and in other places. It is pleasurable to read your accounts which document the need and the care to preserve the culture that remains.


I have come to your blog from Mr. Travis Ervin's Blog.

I have read some of your posts and would like to revisit.

If you like reading short stories from an Indian writer, then a visit to my blogs would be an interesting one for you.

Naval Langa
Another Interesting Blog

Greyscale Territory said...

A fascinating post! But now I am wondering why is the colour red worn for this march? Is there a story attached to the colour choice too?

Cloudia said...

Junosmom: Glad to see you here! I enjoy reading your blog and am wishing you and your Dad better days. Warm Aloha to you.

Naval: Aloha & Namaste!

Gemma Greyscale: Red is a powerful color that the Hawaiian people favor. Perhaps it is emblamatic of the red lava flowing...or Hawaiian blood. Interesting wuestion!

Barbara Martin said...

Cloudia, information and thought provoking post.

Fida said...

Thank you for the great history lesson. And "The Walking Man" spoke my words :)