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.
About the Author
Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio is assistant professor of Indigenous and Native Hawaiian politics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, as well as an award-winning poet, musician, and a lifelong activist.
"A stunning example of archival research, translation, and analysis, Remembering Our Intimacies is both a kāhea (call) and makana (gift), a truly inspiring offering to the lāhui and the fields of Native and queer studies. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio innovatively theorizes how Kānaka Maoli create multiple forms of pilina (intimacy) to manifest the responsibilities and possibilities of collective pleasure. This is the moʻolelo that queer Natives have been waiting for."—Lani Teves, author of Defiant Indigeneity: The Politics of Hawaiian Performance
"With a fearless commitment to land-based love, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio channels the multi-bodied powers of Hi‘iaka to cast an intimate yet expansive net of relating that reaches across geography, generation, and gender. Poetically moving from Hawaiian language archives to Mauna movement memories, this book creates both a refuge for queer Indigenous politics and a map for remembered futures."—Ty P. Kāwika Tengan, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa