Christianity figured prominently in the imperial and colonial exploitation and dispossession of indigenous peoples worldwide, yet many indigenous people embrace Christian faith as part of their cultural and ethnic identities. A Chosen People, a Promised Land gets to the heart of this contradiction by exploring how Native Hawaiian members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (more commonly known as Mormons) understand and negotiate their place in this quintessentially American religion.
Mormon missionaries arrived in Hawai‘i in 1850, a mere twenty years after Joseph Smith founded the church. Hokulani K. Aikau traces how Native Hawaiians became integrated into the religious doctrine of the church as a “chosen people”—even at a time when exclusionary racial policies regarding black members of the church were being codified. Aikau shows how Hawaiians and other Polynesian saints came to be considered chosen and how they were able to use their venerated status toward their own spiritual, cultural, and pragmatic ends.
Using the words of Native Hawaiian Latter-Day Saints to illuminate the intersections of race, colonization, and religion, A Chosen People, a Promised Land examines Polynesian Mormon articulations of faith and identity within a larger political context of self-determination.
Many people first encounter Hawai‘i through the imagination—a postcard picture of hula girls, lu‘aus, and plenty of sun, surf, and sea. While Hawai‘i is indeed beautiful, Native Hawaiians struggle with the problems brought about by colonialism, military occupation, tourism, food insecurity, high costs of living, and climate change. In this brilliant reinvention of the travel guide, artists, activists, and scholars redirect readers from the fantasy of Hawai‘i as a tropical paradise and tourist destination toward a multilayered and holistic engagement with Hawai‘i's culture and complex history. The essays, stories, artworks, maps, and tour itineraries in Detours create decolonial narratives in ways that will forever change how readers think about and move throughout Hawai‘i.
Contributors. Hōkūlani K. Aikau, Malia Akutagawa, Adele Balderston, Kamanamaikalani Beamer, Ellen-Rae Cachola, Emily Cadiz, Iokepa Casumbal-Salazar, David A. Chang, Lianne Marie Leda Charlie, Greg Chun, Joy Lehuanani Enomoto, S. Joe Estores, Nicholas Kawelakai Farrant, Jessica Ka‘ui Fu, Candace Fujikane, Linda H. L. Furuto, Sonny Ganaden, Cheryl Geslani, Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez, Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, Tina Grandinetti, Craig Howes, Aurora Kagawa-Viviani, Noelle M. K. Y. Kahanu, Haley Kailiehu, Kyle Kajihiro, Halena Kapuni-Reynolds, Terrilee N. Kekoolani-Raymond, Kekuewa Kikiloi, William Kinney, Francesca Koethe, Karen K. Kosasa, N. Trisha Lagaso Goldberg, Kapulani Landgraf, Laura E. Lyons, David Uahikeaikalei‘ohu Maile, Brandy Nālani McDougall, Davianna Pōmaika‘i McGregor, Laurel Mei-Singh, P. Kalawai‘a Moore, Summer Kaimalia Mullins-Ibrahim, Jordan Muratsuchi, Hanohano Naehu, Malia Nobrega-Olivera, Katrina-Ann R. Kapā‘anaokalāokeola Nākoa Oliveira, Jamaica Heolimelekalani Osorio, No‘eau Peralto, No‘u Revilla, Kalaniua Ritte, Maya L. Kawailanaokeawaiki Saffery, Dean Itsuji Saranillio, Noenoe K. Silva, Ty P. Kāwika Tengan, Stephanie Nohelani Teves, Stan Tomita, Mehana Blaich Vaughan, Wendy Mapuana Waipā, Julie Warech