• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In Anahulu, Sahlins argues that the Hawaiian people were not passive victims of their own history but rather the authors and that they played a significant role in the collapse of the ancient system of an all-powerful divine monarchy.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In Anahulu, Sahlins argues that the Hawaiian people were not passive victims of their own history but rather the authors and that they played a significant role in the collapse of the ancient system of an all-powerful divine monarchy. He emphasises that Hawaii did not simply capitulate and disregard their outlook on the universe when faced with the all-powerful western civilization. Rather Sahlins claims that the islands’ ruling powers accommodated the western forces within their own mythology and where they might have visibly adopted western practices – for example the establishment of Christianity – this was only made possible by assimilating it with their traditional customs. In addition to this, the nature of the indigenous cosmology greatly amplified the effects of capitalism on the islands – an encouraged revelry in overt excess had a detrimental effect on both the inhabitants and the environment of the islands. The old order is constantly present throughout the seismic shifts in Hawaiian life that follow the appearance of the ‘Haole’ - not always explicitly, but as Sahlins states (p35) ‘the O’ahu order was present as a structural condition.

In order to fully comprehend the author’s assertion, it is important to consider his theoretical background and place his work in an intellectual context. Sahlins is considered a neo-structuralist. Structuralism is an intellectual movement that stems most directly from the works of Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson which principally argues that units of meaning in language are constituted as a system of differences, each unit therefore not having inherent value but rather achieving value thanks to its distinctiveness from other units of the system.

...read more.

Middle

The image that the author creates is one of a living structure which is constantly striving to get back to a perfect state in which its components a defined in the relationship and opposition other aspects of the system. The system defines the way in which the Hawaiian people view the world and so when faced with the arrival of Captain Cook they have no other possible way of dealing with him than fitting him within their own system – thus he was the return of Lono who would not leave and therefore has to be killed by Ku to restore harmony.

It is in this same manner, Sahlins argues, that the subsequent dealings with the outside world took place. In a key section (p35) Sahlins argues that the whilst Kamehameha I was still viewed by the people of O’ahu as a foreign Maui usurper for much of the 1790s (before a period of stability and peace effectively Lono-ized him from approx. 1804 onwards (p36)) then the authorities were powerless to halt the advance of the haole. Sahlins continues that this was not due solely to a ‘collective unconscious’ amongst the Hawaiian people but that whilst carrying out poorly rewarded work for the present-day authorities they came into contact with landmarks directly associated with the benevolent indigenous leaders and brought their plight into sharp contrast. This is a clear demonstration of the Oahuan ideological structure informing the actions of the Waialuan people and showing that they at least played a significant role in their own history.  

...read more.

Conclusion

What though were the motives of the ali’I? For Boki it was kudos through accumulation of wealth and for Ka’ahumanu although she saw short-term reward in the justification of her power, she surely did not comprehend the missionaries’ full motives – a national religion independent of state rule - and their fickle unity. Along with this we see Liholiho seeking legitimacy in England but only finding death. This comes together to draw a picture of an exploited naïve indigenous power.

So while Sahlins argues convincingly that the Hawaiians played a significant role in their own demise it must be noted that they were blind authors, who had saw no choice but to react to the changes enforced on them in the way they did.  

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Computer Science section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Computer Science essays

  1. Information systems development literature review. Since the 1960s Methodologies, Frameworks, Approaches and CASE ...

    Requirement Engineering. 2(1) pp. 71-76. Summary: This paper provides a detail account of the SISTeM, stating its evolutionary history underlining why this methodology can be considered a contingency approach to integrated decision making within IS development. Critical Evaluation Trustworthiness: Various references and case studies have been used to support the information provided within this paper increasing the integrity.

  2. Implementation of Path Finding Techniques in Homeland Security Robots

    Hence if we are trying to find the cheapest solution, a reasonable thing to try first is the node with the lowest value of g(n) + h(n). Provided that the heuristic function h(n) satisfies certain conditions, A* search is both complete and optimal[4].

  1. So in order to understand what the main areas where organisation should be aware ...

    connects to an FTP server, which has a world writable directory, and establishes a control communication connection. The attacker can then ask the FTP server to initiate an active server data transfer process and send a file anywhere on the Internet, presumably to a user data transfer process.

  2. TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

    person in the organization * Examining all costs which are related to quality, especially failure costs * Developing the systems and procedures which support quality and management * Developing a continuous process of improvement APPLICATION OF TQM TQM is a long-term process which demands both strong leaderships and sound management.

  1. The term groupware refers to software products that support groups of people engaged in ...

    is a satisfactorily fine listener to have gathered the right information on which to make the decision. In addition, if the group must also implement the decision, then the authority rule method produces a bare minimum of participation by the group (fundamentally, they will do it because they have to, not inevitably because they want to).

  2. What is Six Sigma?

    (Incidentally, "Six Sigma" is a federally registered trademark of Motorola). In the early and mid-1980s with Chairman Bob Galvin at the helm, Motorola engineers decided that the traditional quality levels -- measuring defects in thousands of opportunities -- didn't provide enough granularities.

  1. To What Extent Can Emotion Be Viewed As A Biological Phenomenon?

    It produces a detailed evaluation of the emotional significance in a situation; this allows an appropriate response to the situation. It is based on simple stimulus features such as intensity.

  2. Why was an Independent Commission on the Voting system set up?

    It is disproportional, particularly to smaller parties. The number of votes a party receives is not always reflected in the number of seats that party gains in the House of Commons. In its 1997 election Manifesto the Labour Party promised a review of the electoral system.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work