Nā Kuaʻāina

Mahalo to Davianna and the University of Hawaiʻi Press for permission to provide chapter one of the book Nā Kuaʻāina here on our website.

The word kua‘āina translates literally as “back land” or “back country.” Davianna Pōmaika‘i McGregor grew up hearing it as a reference to an awkward or unsophisticated person from the country. However, in the context of the Native Hawaiian cultural renaissance of the late twentieth century, kua‘āina came to refer to those who actively lived Hawaiian culture and kept the spirit of the land alive. The mo‘olelo (oral traditions) recounted in this book reveal how kua‘āina have enabled Native Hawaiians to endure as a unique and dignified people more than a century after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

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