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Episode 47: The kua ‘?ina with Dr. Davianna P?maika‘i McGregor

In the years between annexation and statehood, plantations proliferated, military bases sprang up, urbanization increased and more hotels were built. On the fringes of all the change were the kua ‘?ina, Hawaiians who stayed in the country and continued to live from the ideals of aloha ‘?ina. UH M?noa professor Davianna P?maika‘i McGregor wrote a book on the kua ‘?ina; here she talks about their lives.

“These people emerge as really the people who bent their backs and worked hard to keep the resources in their area healthy and sustainable; they were able then to successfully provide for their families because they drew upon this rich ancestral knowledge about how the resources change in different seasons. In these communities there’s a high concentration of Hawaiians and so that reinforces people perpetuating the language, the culture and the practices.”

McGregor says the kua ‘?ina communities served as k?puka—a kind of oasis—for the culture.

“Because these people lived according to ancestral knowledge and ways, those ideas, that language, that culture began to regenerate in the ’70s and ’80s. The k?puna who came from Moloka‘i and Ke‘anae and Wailua Nui and Keaukaha were the k?puna who advised us and it’s that knowledge that helped our generation to revive the practices of aloha ‘?ina.”

researcher, writter, and narrator of Aloha Aina. She is currently an editor at Hawai‘i’s largest magazine, Hana Hou!, where she has written and edited numerous award-winning articles about Hawai‘i. She was the founding editor of Honolulu Weekly. She holds a BA in Pacific history and journalism from the University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa and a JD from Stanford Law School.
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