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Hawaiian Music in Motion

Hawaiian Music in Motion: Mariners, Missionaries, and Minstrels

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Hawaiian Music in Motion
    Book Description:

    Hawaiian Music in Motion explores the performance, reception, transmission, and adaptation of Hawaiian music on board ships and in the islands, revealing the ways both maritime commerce and imperial confrontation facilitated the circulation of popular music in the nineteenth century. James Revell Carr shows how Hawaiians initially used music and dance to ease tensions with, and spread information about, potentially dangerous foreigners, and then traces the circulation of Hawaiian song and dance worldwide as Hawaiians served aboard American and European ships. Drawing on journals and ships' logs, Carr highlights the profound contrasts between Hawaiians' treatment by fellow sailors who appreciated their seamanship and music, versus antagonistic American missionaries determined to keep Hawaiians on local sugar plantations, and looks at how Hawaiians achieved their own ends by capitalizing on Americans' conflicting expectations and fraught discourse around hula and other musical practices. He also examines American minstrelsy in Hawaii, including professional touring minstrel troupes from the mainland, amateur troupes consisting of crew members of visiting ships, and local indigenous troupes of Hawaiian minstrels. In the process he illuminates how a merging of indigenous and foreign elements became the new sound of native Hawaiian culture at the turn of the twentieth century--and made loping rhythms, falsetto yodels, and driving ukuleles indelible parts of American popular music.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09652-5
    Subjects: History, Music

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-xii)
  4. Introduction: Setting Sail
    (pp. 1-16)

    As a kid I was a “museum brat,” and I grew up playing amid eighteenth-and nineteenth-century homes, singing sea chanteys for fun. My father was the curator, and then for twenty years the director, of Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut, one of the largest and most celebrated maritime museums in the United States. Since the mid-1970s, Mystic Seaport has incorporated the performance of sea chanteys, the traditional work songs of nineteenth-century deepwater sailors, into its demonstrations of shipboard work. I remember singing these rollicking, somewhat bawdy, songs with my classmates in elementary school, and when I turned sixteen I...

  5. CHAPTER 1 “Lascivious Gestures” and “Festive Sports”: Early Interactions, 1778–1802
    (pp. 17-54)

    In this seemingly minor moment of observation, a British explorer captures one of the first Western images of the Hawaiian “hula girl” before she became the icon that she is today. David Samwell, surgeon aboard the flagship HMSResolutionduring Captain Cook’s third expedition, wrote the preceding account on the island of Hawai‘i in January 1779. His writings reflect a fascination and sympathy, even admiration, for Hawaiians, while also providing anecdotes that become historical monads in which the entire relationship between sailors and islanders is crystallized. The meaning that this dancer intends for her own performance is negligible from the...

  6. CHAPTER 2 “A Wild Sort of Note”: Hawaiian Music at Sea
    (pp. 55-95)

    The ship at sea is inherently a cosmopolitan space—strictly bounded by its own bulwarks and bulkheads, and “zoned” by the “blank” space of the sea—and its interior is a microcosm of the world, that is, the very androcentric world of the nineteenth century. The ship at sea is a pocket of humanity, isolated by the vastness through which it travels yet connected to its homeport, the name of which is prominently displayed on its transom, and to its many ports of call through that same vast blank space. The sea was for the nineteenth-century world what the Internet...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Hukihuki: Mariners, Missionaries, and the Struggle for Hawaiian Bodies and Souls
    (pp. 96-125)

    The missionary community and the maritime community in the Hawaiian archipelago were at odds throughout the nineteenth century, in a feud that rivals the Hatfields and the McCoys for its spitefulness and longevity. The maritime historian Briton Busch writes, “natural enemies abound in history. Seldom however, has there been so lengthy a quarrel as that between missionaries and whalemen in the nineteenth century Pacific Ocean” (1993, 91). Stereotypical generalizations about sailors and missionaries are commonplace—that sailors were interested primarily in drinking and prostitution while missionaries were the noble-hearted educators, or, conversely, that sailors were the romantic swashbucklers while the...

  8. CHAPTER 4 “Hale Diabolo”: The Royal Hawaiian Theatre and the Rise of Popular Music in Honolulu
    (pp. 126-158)

    In the late 1840s—with increasing numbers of sailors seeking entertainment, a welldeveloped scene of musicians and actors seeking venues, and growing numbers of touring performers arriving in town—a group of businessmen sought to build a proper theater for Honolulu. The evangelical community vehemently protested the idea, arguing that a large theater would promote indolence, drunkenness, and rioting. The controversy resulted in polemical letters and editorials in the various Honolulu newspapers. Reverend J. S. Green (“Gelina” to the Hawaiians) reached out to the native population by publishing an exhortation in the Hawaiian-language newspaperKa ‘Elele Hawai‘icalling “upon all...

  9. CHAPTER 5 “Honolulu Hula Hula Heigh”: The Legacy of Maritime Music in Hawai‘i
    (pp. 159-188)

    During the 1860s the whaling fleet, which had been depleted of American seamen and ships by the Civil War, came to depend more heavily on Kanaka whalers. This brought more Hawaiians into the global economy of the maritime trades than ever before. TheKa Nupepa Kuokoaarticle about Hawaiian whalers in the Arctic that was quoted in chapter 2 argued that American ships did not hire Hawaiian whalers simply because there were not enough American men to run the ships, but by the 1870s this had become an important factor. There were simply not enough young men going into whaling...

  10. NOTES
    (pp. 189-194)
    (pp. 195-210)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 211-218)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 219-228)