Hawaii Challenge -- A Look at Native Hawaiians -- Native American Heritage Month

Today we are taking a look at the Native Hawaiians. This is our post for the Multicultural Kid Blogs Native American Month. I figured this was a perfect time to truly explore the Native Hawaiians. They have been making news lately because they are fighting the world's largest telescope being installed on one of their sacred lands. Although they are not actually indigenous people many think of them as a group of them. Since we know they came from the Polynesian Islands they are actually aboriginal people. (Source) As I mentioned in my fist Hawaii Challenge post the Hawaiian islands were formed by volcanoes. South Seas peoples of Polynesia and Tahitian descent came to the islands and stayed. This was around the third century. 

Similar to the experience of Native American tribes life changed drastically when Europeans visited and eventually took over. Back in 1778 the English captain James Cook came to Kauai and everything changed. The Native Hawaiians went through a hard time and they actually organized themselves into a monarchy. They became the Kingdom of Hawaii. They were recognized internationally as a sovereign and independent country. They made treaties with every major country including the United States. 
Crown Princess Liliuokalani-b&w
Crowned Princess Liliuokalani by  J. J. Williamsderivative work: PawełMM 
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Then the businessmen moved in. After all Hawaii is home to amazing growing conditions. They also have some flora and fauna that are unique to only Hawaii. Much of this is now endangered. The sugar and pineapple plantations were developed. They brought workers from many countries and provided awful living conditions and did not pay well. Native Hawaiians lost more and more of their territory. 
Pineapple Plantation Pukalani, Maui by Photo by Forest & Kim Starr 
[CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The reigning queen, Queen Liliuokalani made attempts to restore the rightful power of the Hawaiian people. She proposed a new constitution that would lessen the power of the American and European merchants and plantation owners. In 1893, the Americans called the U.S. Marines to protect them. There was no danger for the Americans but the Marines came in heavily armed. They overthrew the constitutional monarch of Hawaii. There were no shots fired. The Hawaiian people were surrounded by a major military force and Queen Liliuokalani was arrested and confined to the `Iolani Palace. These acts by the Americans violated international laws and U.S. treaties. Hawaii was never a sovereign state again. It became a territory of the United States. On November 23, 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed a law to apologize to the Native Hawaiians on behalf of the people of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. 
Iolani Palace (2857069630)
`Iolani Palace by Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Today many Native Hawaiians want to be a sovereign nation again. Their efforts center on land and water rights. The Native Hawaiians are caretakers of the islands. The struggle for the land and water rights is to ensure they can truly take care of the islands and their unique ecosystem. The islands unique flora and fauna had no natural predators until Europeans brought foreign plants, insects and animals which invaded and destroyed the natural inhabitants. Thus the Native Hawaiians must work even harder to preserve and care for their environment. 

Native Hawaiians have hundreds of games including wrestling, swimming, surfing, canoe racing and fencing. Surfing is a Hawaiian tradition and was an integral part of life. Making a surfboard was a spiritual process. The Native Hawaiians have great respect for the ocean and its many mysteries. The Hawaiians developed some methods used in surfing. Duke Paoa Kahanmoku is called the Father of Surfing. He competed in four Olympics and won medals in all swimming events and water polo. He once rescued a crew of capsized fisherman on his surfboard. 
Anonymous photograph of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku with his surfboard
Duke Paoa Kahanmoku Malama Pono Ltd.
 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
U'lu maika is a type of bowling that is still played today. There are different versions of the game. There are remains of a seven-mile course on the island of Molokai. Stone disks made from lava, coral, limestone or other materials were rolled between two stakes about six inches apart. One version of the game was to see who could bowl the greatest distance. Another was to see who had the most skill to bowl the u-lu between the two stakes and the third was to see who made the strongest u-lu. The one that didn't break won. A book that is an amazing resource, A Kid's Guide to Native American History, provides an activity to create your own u'lu maika game. 
I used this book for a resource of this post as well as our craft project that I will share at the end. However it is full of amazing information about Native Americans throughout the United States and provides information about people, culture, environment as well as crafts, recipes and activities. 

Hawaiians have their own language. The language began to get lost since the U.S. government had laws that prevented natives from speaking their own language. However in 1983 an organization called 'Aha Punana Leo was founded and its purpose is to save the Hawaiian language. There are only thirteen letters in the Hawaiian alphabet. There has been a push for the children to learn the native language as well as about the native culture. There are schools that teach the language as well as Japanese and Chinese. They also learn about the native culture and practice things such as ho'okipa or hospitality. In Honolulu there is the Halau Ku Mana Charter School where kids are taught in more traditional ways of the Native Hawaiians. 

I hope the Native Hawaiians can gain back their own government and live in the peace and harmony that so much of their culture strives for. I also look at our own developments and their struggles and question why are we doing this. If their sole hope is to preserve their environment and sacred lands why are we fighting them and taking more from these people. 
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis yellow, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
Yellow Hibiscus in Oahu, Hawaii by Diego Delso [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons 

Since I don't want to get political I am going to share a fun craft that I got from the book mentioned above. This craft will teach us a small bit about the Hawaiian world but also serve to help us protect the environment if we use it. It is to make a Hawaiian bag in the style of Hawaiian quilts and with the state flower of Hawaii on it. The state flower is the yellow hibiscus. The project requires yellow fabric, a canvas bag, fusible webbing, an iron and iron board and paper, pencil and scissors. 

To start I folded the paper into quarters and then drew a picture of a hibiscus (I traced one and then adjusted it). I also extended lines to the flower to the folds of the paper so it would be one piece when cut out. Then I cut it. You can see my pattern in the photo above. Next I took a piece of my yellow fabric and the fusible webbing and ironed on the webbing according the instructions on the package. I made sure the piece of fabric fit the pattern. Then I traced my pattern onto the backside of the webbing and cut it out. Finally I ironed the fabric onto the canvas bag. I used the backside of the bag since the front side of the bag I had has a pink stripe on it.
Now when I use my bag I can think about Hawaii and help preserve our world! I hope you will join me in doing this. I hope you will also join us in our Hawaii Challenge and learn more about the Native Hawaiians and the history of Hawaii as well as join us more this month for some posts and books about other Native American groups! And below there is information about the blog hop we are joining today!! Make sure to check out the other posts!

Other Sources: 

Native American Heritage Month | Multicultural Kid Blogs 
Welcome to our sixth annual celebration of Native American Heritage Month! Today our bloggers are sharing posts about teaching children about these rich cultures. See the list of participating blogs below, and don't forget to link up your own posts as well! Don't miss our series from last year, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014, plus you can find even more ideas on our Native/Indigenous Cultures Pinterest board: Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs's board Native/Indigenous Cultures on Pinterest.

Participating Blogs

Faith Seeker Kids on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Honoring Native American Heritage Month with Kids 
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: 5 Tasty Indigenous Recipes Crafty Moms Share: A Look at Native Hawaiians 
Kids Spanish Book Club: Books for Native American Heritage Month 
Tiny Tapping Toes: A Beautiful Book in English and Cherokee