In Waves of Kwing Karin Amimoto Ingersoll marks a critical turn away from land-based geographies to center the ocean as place. Developing the concept of seascape epistemology, she articulates an indigeus Hawaiian way of kwing founded on a sensorial, intellectual, and embodied literacy of the ocean. As the source from which Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) draw their essence and identity, the sea is foundational to Kanaka epistemology and ontology. Analyzing oral histories, chants, artwork, poetry, and her experience as a surfer, Ingersoll shows how this connection to the sea has been crucial to resisting two centuries of colonialism, militarism, and tourism. In today's neocolonial context-where continued occupation and surf tourism marginalize indigeus Hawaiians-seascape epistemology as expressed by traditional cultural practices such as surfing, fishing, and navigating provides the tools for generating an alternative indigeus politics and ethics. In relocating Hawaiian identity back to the waves, currents, winds, and clouds, Ingersoll presents a theoretical alternative to land-centric viewpoints that still dominate studies of place-making and indigeus epistemology.
Karin Amimoto Ingersoll is an independent scholar, writer, and surfer based in Honolulu, Hawaii. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.