Native Hawaiian Religion
In order to faithfully represent
most modern-day native Hawaiians and
their needs and concerns in this
important area of native culture, this
report will clarify with as much
brevity as possible the aspirations of
the Hawaiian people to effect respect
for their dignity as native Hawaiians,
Hawaiian Americans, and as thoughtful
citizens of the world. It will concentrate
on several main issues:
- 1) The ancient Hawaiian concept of the soul of man in relation to ancestral or controlling spiritual beings in nature, or beyond nature, during human life and in a spiritual afterlife.
- 2) The relationship between the community worship of the chiefs and priests as a ruling class, and family ('ohana) worship in ancient pre-contact (1778-1779) and post-conversion (1820-) times, continuing into fragmented private family religious observances today in association with introduced forms of worship, reflecting positive or negative identity changes.
- 4) The need felt by some emerging native Hawaiian groups to recover self-esteem as Hawaiians by pledging faith in ancient religious beliefs and customs beneficial to group identity through participation in a live, revitalized religious setting, requiring recovery of temple and other shrine sites designated as sacred, with the privilege or right to reenact pertinent rituals in ceremonies conducive to harmonious and inspired religious expression.
- 5) Summary of needs and concerns about Hawaiian religion with recommendations for improving religious expression as desired in the present multiethnic social setting.
*/ The following chapter is a complete
reproduction of the paper
prepared by Rubellite K. Johnson,
entitled, "Religion Section of Native
Hawaiians Study Commission Report"
(February 1983), written at the
direction of and funded by the Office
of Hawaiian Affairs. Rubellite
Johnson is an Associate Professor in
Hawaiian Language, Department of
Indo-Pacific Languages, at the
University of Hawaii, Manoa campus.
Minor editorial changes have been made
to conform to the Final Report's
(cont'd) format, and the footnotes
have been redesignated, for the
convenience of the reader. Also,
information appended to Professor
Johnson's paper does not appear in the
text of this chapter, but can be found
in the Appendix of this Report, referenced
at the appropriate places in the
text. Except for these changes, Professor
Johnson's paper appears as sub-ed.
mitted by OHA and is otherwise unchanged.
References used by Professor Johnson
appear in the "List of References" of
this Report, marked by a "."