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The Queen and I

The Queen and I: A Story of Dispossessions and Reconnections in Hawai'i

Sydney Lehua Iaukea
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    The Queen and I
    Book Description:

    In this exposé Sydney L. Iaukea ties personal memories to newly procured political information about Hawai`i’s crucial Territorial era. Spurred by questions surrounding intergenerational property disputes in her immediate family, she delves into Hawai`i’s historical archives. There she discovers the central role played by her great-great-grandfather in the politics of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Hawai`i—in particular, Curtis P. Iaukea’s trusted position with the Hawaiian Kingdom’s last ruling monarch, Queen Lili`uokalani. As Iaukea charts her ancestor’s efforts to defend a culture under siege, she reveals astonishing legal and legislative maneuvers that show us how capitalism reshaped cultural relationships. She finds resonant parallels and connections between her own upbringing in Maui’s housing projects, her family’s penchant for hiding property, and the Hawaiian peoples’ loss of their country and lands.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95030-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-13)

    Insanity runs through my family—insanity driven by the manipulation and control of private property, as family members work against one another. Insidious in its influence, private property shadows and shapes my family’s history and contemporary existence. The hiding of land goes back generations. Among many other things, this is a story of that manipulation through my eyes. I embody all that went before, and I bring forth that narrative here. But this is not the entire story, because private property is not the definer of a genealogy that goes back to the beginning.

    For Hawaiians, land, identity, andmo‘o...

  6. CHAPTER 1 Family Secrets and Cartographic Silences: Chatty Maps and Memory
    (pp. 14-39)

    Land, body, and memory all inform one another. The land, extending out and into the ocean, holds the practical and epistemological memories of encounters. The body is the agent, the participant in the environment, and the container of memories. For Hawaiians in the past, vital information was relayed through the environment, and this memory ofka ‘āina(the land; that which feeds) affected close interpersonal relationships and societal structures. Vestiges of that connection toka ‘āinastill exist in places and still hold valuable information about who we are. The dynamics and evolution of land, body, and memory can be...

  7. CHAPTER 2 Land as the Vehicle: The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (1921) and Defining Nativeness
    (pp. 40-60)

    With my genealogy reconfiguring in my mind, and the pull of generations past urging me to bring forth what was put in my path, getting from here to there in understanding is now the voyage. Land legislation was the vehicle for erasing emotional and epistemological ties to the Hawaiian Kingdom, and for rewriting the national fabric of theali‘isystem and Hawaiian Kingdom national terrain. As the Crown Lands commissioner for many years, and then as the subagent of “Public Lands,” Curtis P. Iaukea had primary responsibility for and a strong interest in land legislation. He wrote glowingly about Sanford...

  8. CHAPTER 3 A Story of Political and Emotional Maneuverings: Queen Lili‘uokalani’s Trust Deed and the Crown Lands
    (pp. 61-86)

    Land’s value exists in its extension of the self from the past into the present and back. When capitalism enters into this relationship, contractual relations to property replace placial connections. Though contractual relations are not without emotional currency, Cole Harris notes: “The spatial energy of capitalism works to deterritoralize people (detach them from prior bonds between people and place) and to reterritorialize them in relation to the requirements of capital.”¹ But even if capital and property attempt to take precedence over the connections of genealogy and ‘ohana, one’s lived experiences in a place and the lived experience of the self...

  9. CHAPTER 4 “E paa oukou” (You hold it): Charging Queen Lili‘uokalani with Insanity and “Holding” the Trust Intact
    (pp. 87-114)

    In 1915, Prince Kūhiō put forth a bill of complaint that charged Queen Lili‘uokalani with mental incompetence, escalating the fight for the Queen’s private property through what I call the “insanity trials.”¹ This attack from within her own inner circle of family and friends was launched through western and American institutional forces that had been separating the Queen from her lands, and Hawaiians from place, resulting in a dismemberment of the parts from the whole. Questioning the Queen’s mental capacity was part of the larger project of deligitimizing the entire social structure and multigenerational epistemology she embodied. If the sovereign...

  10. CHAPTER 5 The Final Insults: Kāhoaka, Condemnation, the Lele of Hamohamo, Projects of “Reclamation,” and Heartbreak
    (pp. 115-142)

    The international travels of Curtis Piehu Iaukea, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921, the fight for the Crown Lands revenues, the formation of the Queen Lili‘uokalani trust deed, and the 1915 bill of complaint—for me, the Lele of Hamohamo, and the connected properties Hooulu and Lei Hooulu, bring these significant events together and close this narrative. These concurrent historical, international, and personal events are obviously linked and related. ButLele, a “jump” that also refers to the linking of two discrete and even noncontiguous properties, is an especially fine metaphor for the ways that the bill of complaint,...

  11. Epilogue
    (pp. 143-146)

    “They know who you are, they see you coming,” said Uncle Willy Iaukea as we visited places on Hawai‘i Island that are not only special to our lineage—the ‘Ī Clan of Hilo—but are fundamental to an epistemology that reaches back before time. Uncle Willy is happy we have arrived, and very open to sharing themo‘olelofrom our ‘ohana—stories that have come up orally through the generations. And it all feels so normal, so right, to be around this family at this time, and to be in these places that are familiar and welcoming, even though we’ve...

  12. APPENDIX A. List of Commissions and Appointments Received by Colonel Curtis P. Iaukea
    (pp. 147-150)
  13. APPENDIX B. Queen Lili‘uokalani’s Deed of Trust
    (pp. 151-162)
  14. APPENDIX C. Queen Lili‘uokalani’s Petition to U.S. President William H. Taft
    (pp. 163-170)
  15. NOTES
    (pp. 171-192)
    (pp. 193-202)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 203-210)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 211-211)