Reclaiming Hawai'i: Toward the Protection of Native Hawaiian Cultural and Intellectual Property
UCLA Indigenous Peoples' Journal of Law: Culture & Resistance, Vol. 1 No. 110, 2004
34 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2011
Date Written: July 26, 2011
Indigenous peoples have undergone two waves of rapid appropriation of their lands, sciences, ideas, arts, and cultures. European exploration and colonization marked the first era of appropriation of indigenous peoples' natural and cultural resources. Today, the process of colonization is being repeated in a second wave of appropriation. In the case of Native Hawaiians, this second wave of appropriation of Native Hawaiian cultural and intellectual property by non-Hawaiians has taken two principal forms. One is the outright taking and exploitation of Native lands, images, expressions, and knowledge for commercial gain. The mass commericalization of the hula (a traditional dance) and the concept of aloha (love, affection, compassion, kindness) by the tourist industry are the most obvious examples. The other form of appropriation is the institutional misuse of Native images, expressions, and knowledge. It is this second form, subtle and invasive, that co-ops Native Hawaiian efforts to achieve sovereignty and self-determination, and simultaneously protects the local hegemony. The case of Hawai'i, then, provides an example of the appropriation and exploitation of Native cultural objects, expressions, images, and knowledge through mass commercialization and institutional misuse without the consent of the Native Hawaiian peoples. The Native Hawaiian peoples, like other indigenous peoples of the world, must secure control over the dissemination and exploitation of their cultural and intellectual property as an exercise of self-determination. This article argues that the most appropriate standards to implement originate from the Native Hawaiian community and are based upon the existing paradigm of Native Hawaiian cultural values and protocol. Thus, protection must be achieved in accordance with standards implemented and enforced by the Native Hawaiian peoples as an exercise of self-determination.
Keywords: Native Hawaiian, traditional knowledge, self-determination, cultural property
JEL Classification: K11, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation