Remembering Our Intimacies

Remembering Our Intimacies

Mo'olelo, Aloha 'Aina, and Ea

Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio

Recovering Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) relationality and belonging in the land, memory, and body of Native Hawai’i

232 Pages, 6 x 9 in



Remembering Our Intimacies

Mo'olelo, Aloha 'Aina, and Ea

Series: Indigenous Americas

Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio

ISBN: 9781517910303

Publication date: September 28th, 2021

232 Pages

13 tables

8 x 5

"A stunning example of archival research, translation, and analysis, Remembering Our Intimacies is both a kāhea (call) and makana (gift), a truly inspiring offering to the lāhui and the fields of Native and queer studies. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio innovatively theorizes how Kānaka Maoli create multiple forms of pilina (intimacy) to manifest the responsibilities and possibilities of collective pleasure. This is the moʻolelo that queer Natives have been waiting for."—Lani Teves, author of Defiant Indigeneity: The Politics of Hawaiian Performance

"With a fearless commitment to land-based love, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio channels the multi-bodied powers of Hi‘iaka to cast an intimate yet expansive net of relating that reaches across geography, generation, and gender. Poetically moving from Hawaiian language archives to Mauna movement memories, this book creates both a refuge for queer Indigenous politics and a map for remembered futures."—Ty P. Kāwika Tengan, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

"[Remembering Our Intimacies] generously offers all readers a way to imagine intimate relations beyond the settler-capitalist constructions of land as property and love as patriarchy."—Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association

Recovering Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) relationality and belonging in the land, memory, and body of Native Hawai’i

Hawaiian “aloha ʻāina” is often described in Western political terms—nationalism, nationhood, even patriotism. In Remembering Our Intimacies, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio centers in on the personal and embodied articulations of aloha ʻāina to detangle it from the effects of colonialism and occupation. Working at the intersections of Hawaiian knowledge, Indigenous queer theory, and Indigenous feminisms, Remembering Our Intimacies seeks to recuperate Native Hawaiian concepts and ethics around relationality, desire, and belonging firmly grounded in the land, memory, and the body of Native Hawai’i.

Remembering Our Intimacies argues for the methodology of (re)membering Indigenous forms of intimacies. It does so through the metaphor of a ‘upena—a net of intimacies that incorporates the variety of relationships that exist for Kānaka Maoli. It uses a close reading of the moʻolelo (history and literature) of Hiʻiakaikapoliopele to provide context and interpretation of Hawaiian intimacy and desire by describing its significance in Kānaka Maoli epistemology and why this matters profoundly for Hawaiian (and other Indigenous) futures. 

Offering a new approach to understanding one of Native Hawaiians’ most significant values, Remembering Our Intimacies reveals the relationships between the policing of Indigenous bodies, intimacies, and desires; the disembodiment of Indigenous modes of governance; and the ongoing and ensuing displacement of Indigenous people.

Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio is assistant professor of Indigenous and Native Hawaiian politics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, as well as an award-winning poet, musician, and a lifelong activist.  


He Mele no Hōpoe: A Dedication 

Nā Mahalo: Acknowledgements 

A Note about Language Use 

ʻŌlelo Mua: Beginning to (Re)member

Gathering Our Stories of Belonging 

1. Aloha ʻĀina as Pilina

2. Hawaiian Archives, Abundance, and the Problem of Translation

For My Favorite Spring, “Puna” Leonetta Keolaokalani Kinard 

3. The Ea of Pilina and ʻĀina

4. ʻĀina, the Aho of our ʻUpena

Kaimana: A Dismembered Home

5. Kamaʻāina: Pilina and Kuleana in a Time of Removal 

Rise Like a Mighty Wave

6. Kū Kiaʻi Mauna: How Kapu and Kānāwai Are Overthrowing Law and Order in Hawaiʻi

ʻŌlelo Pīnaʻi: Epilogue