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The World and All the Things upon It

Native Hawaiian Geographies of Exploration

2016
Author:

David A. Chang

The World and All the Things upon It

Centering indigenous perspectives on the age of exploration

The World and All the Things upon It traces how Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian people) explored the outside world and generated their own understandings of it in the century after James Cook’s arrival in 1778. David A. Chang examines travel, sexuality, spirituality, print culture, gender, labor, education, and race to shed light on how Hawaiians, as well as their would-be colonizers, perceived and contested imperialism, colonialism, and nationalism.

In The World and All the Things upon It, David A. Chang places Hawai‘i, both literally and figuratively, at the center of the world. His fascinating explorations of Kānaka Maoli histories throughout the nineteenth-century Pacific puts Hawaiian studies in powerful conversation with some of the most exciting and rapidly changing fields of historical inquiry across this vast region.

Coll Thrush, author of Indigenous London: Native Travellers at the Heart of Empire

What if we saw indigenous people as the active agents of global exploration rather than as the passive objects of that exploration? What if, instead of conceiving of global exploration as an enterprise just of European men such as Columbus or Cook or Magellan, we thought of it as an enterprise of the people they “discovered”? What could such a new perspective reveal about geographical understanding and its place in struggles over power in the context of colonialism?

The World and All the Things upon It addresses these questions by tracing how Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian people) explored the outside world and generated their own understandings of it in the century after James Cook’s arrival in 1778. Writing with verve, David A. Chang draws on the compelling words of long-ignored Hawaiian-language sources—stories, songs, chants, and political prose—to demonstrate how Native Hawaiian people worked to influence their metaphorical “place in the world.” We meet, for example, Kaʻiana, a Hawaiian chief who took an English captain as his lover and, while sailing throughout the Pacific, considered how Chinese, Filipinos, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans might shape relations with Westerners to their own advantage. Chang’s book is unique in examining travel, sexuality, spirituality, print culture, gender, labor, education, and race to shed light on how constructions of global geography became a site through which Hawaiians, as well as their would-be colonizers, perceived and contested imperialism, colonialism, and nationalism.

Rarely have historians asked how non-Western people imagined and even forged their own geographies of their colonizers and the broader world. This book takes up that task. It emphasizes, moreover, that there is no better way to understand the process and meaning of global exploration than by looking out from the shores of a place, such as Hawaiʻi, that was allegedly the object, and not the agent, of exploration.

The World and All the Things upon It

David A. Chang (Native Hawaiian) is associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of The Color of the Land: Race, Nation, and the Politics of Land Ownership in Oklahoma, 1832–1929.

The World and All the Things upon It

In The World and All the Things upon It, David A. Chang places Hawai‘i, both literally and figuratively, at the center of the world. His fascinating explorations of Kānaka Maoli histories throughout the nineteenth-century Pacific puts Hawaiian studies in powerful conversation with some of the most exciting and rapidly changing fields of historical inquiry across this vast region.

Coll Thrush, author of Indigenous London: Native Travellers at the Heart of Empire

David A. Chang's research and analysis is fresh and makes an outstanding and vital contribution to our knowledge. The World and All the Things upon It is a work of aloha ‘āina, love of the land and our native people.

Noenoe Silva, University of Hawai‘i

The World and All the Things upon It

Contents
Introduction: Making Native Hawaiian Global Geographies
1. Looking Out from Hawaiʻi’s Shore: The Exploration of the World Is the Inheritance of Native Hawaiians
2. Paddling Out to See: Direct Exploration by Kānaka in the Late Eighteenth Century
3. A New Religion from Kahiki: Christianity, Textuality, and Exploration, 1820–1832
4. The World and All the Things upon It: Geography Education and Textbooks in Hawaiʻi, 1831–1878
5. Hawaiian Indians and Black Kanakas: Racial Trajectories of Diasporic Kanaka Laborers
6. Bone of Our Bone: The Geography of Sacred Power, 1850s–1870s
7. “We Will Be Comparable to the Indian Peoples”: Recognizing Likeness between Kānaka and American Indians, 1832–1895
Epilogue: Genealogies of the Present in Occupied Hawaiʻi
Acknowledgments
Notes