Recovering Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) relationality and belonging in the land, memory, and 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.