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- DescriptionIn the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA) of 1921, the U.S. Congress defined native Hawaiians as those people with at least one-half blood quantum of individuals inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands prior to 1778. This blood logic has since become an entrenched part of the legal system in Hawai'i. Hawaiian Blood is the first comprehensive history and analysis of this federal law that equates Hawaiian cultural identity with a quantifiable amount of blood. J. Kehaulani Kauanui explains how blood quantum classification emerged as a way to undermine Native Hawaiian (Kanaka Maoli) sovereignty. Within the framework of the 50-percent rule, intermarriage dilutes the number of state-recognized Native Hawaiians. Thus, rather than support Native claims to the Hawaiian islands, blood quantum reduces Hawaiians to a racial mirity, reinforcing a system of white racial privilege bound to property ownership. Kauanui provides an impassioned assessment of how the arbitrary correlation of ancestry and race imposed by the U.S. government on the indigeus people of Hawai'i has had far-reaching legal and cultural effects. With the HHCA, the federal government explicitly limited the number of Hawaiians included in land provisions, and it recast Hawaiians' land claims in terms of colonial welfare rather than collective entitlement. Moreover, the exclusionary logic of blood quantum has profoundly affected cultural definitions of indigeneity by undermining more inclusive Kanaka Maoli tions of kinship and belonging. Kauanui also addresses the ongoing significance of the 50-percent rule: Its criteria underlie recent court decisions that have subverted the Hawaiian sovereignty movement and brought to the fore charged questions about who counts as Hawaiian.
- Author BiographyJ. Kehaulani Kauanui is Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Studies at Wesleyan University.
- Author(s)J. Kauanui
- PublisherDuke University Press
- Date of Publication07/11/2008
- SubjectSociology & Anthropology: Professional
- Series TitleNarrating Native Histories
- Place of PublicationNorth Carolina
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintDuke University Press
- Content Note5 photographs, 2 tables
- Weight386 g
- Width156 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine15 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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