Remembering Our Intimacies

Moʻolelo, Aloha ʻĀina, and Ea

2021
Author:

Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio

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

Remembering Our Intimacies centers on the personal and embodied articulations of aloha ʻâina to detangle it from the effects of colonialism and occupation. Working at the intersections of Hawaiian knowledge, Indigenous queer theory, and Indigenous feminisms, it seeks to recuperate Native Hawaiian concepts and ethics around relationality, desire, and belonging grounded in the land, memory, and the 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.


Contents


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


Notes


Bibliography


Index