Genealogy, Ku'u One Hanau define kanaka maoli

Letter to the Editor
The Maui News
Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Jan. 26 letter "Does birthplace determine who or what we are?" is puzzling at best because the writer purports to come from Kapa'a, Kauai.

If he resides on Kauai, any resident should know that kanaka maoli have been here for more than 2,000 years, even though several trans-Pacific migrations occurred in the Polynesian Triangle made up of Hawaii, Rapanui (Easter Island) and Aoeteroa (New Zealand).

We had a population of between 750,000 and 900,000 people when Capt. James Cook arrived outside of Kauai and sailed down the Hawaiian Island chain and landed in Kealakekua Bay in 1778.

Because the writer is a Mainlander and Caucasian (haole to us), I hope this letter will enlighten him. Also, if he is haole and born in Japan, does that make you Japanese? No it does not. Everyone knows what they are and no matter where they were born, their genealogy still exists. For us kanaka maoli (true natives), it's the koko (the blood) that matters and being born in Hawaii makes it more special because it is our Ku'u One Hanau, "The sands of our birth."

Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr.

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