[PAST EVENT] Summer Moore, Anthropology - Dissertation Defense
Persistence on the Periphery: Change and Continuity in Post-Contact Hawaiian Households, Na Pali Coast, Kaua'i Island, Hawaiian Islands
This dissertation examines components of Hawaiian household economies to understand how people on the remote Na Pali Coast of Kaua'i Island, Hawai'i, maintained continuity in domestic life well into the late nineteenth century. It focuses on house sites at Nu'alolo Kai and Miloli'i, two neighboring communities on the western end of Kaua'i’s remote Na Pali Coast. The research demonstrates that nineteenth-century Na Pali Coast households continued to rely on food production at the level of the household, even as they gradually incorporated small numbers of foreign goods into household economies. Rather than using new materials and practices to recreate households in the image of outsiders, however, nineteenth-century residents of the Na Pali Coast used foreign goods to create a distinctive version of Hawaiian domesticity. My dissertation argues that, rather than committing themselves to wholesale participation in the market economy, Na Pali Coast households were able to strategically fashion for themselves a place on the margins of the market economy. While the remoteness of this region constrained participation in Hawai'i’s emerging market economy, it also engendered resilience and autonomy during a time of large-scale social and political change in the archipelago.