Jennifer Lawrence, please keep your butt off our ancestors

by J Kēhaulani Kauanui

How do you define “sacred?” One simple answer: it’s something you keep your butt off. Jennifer Lawrence got that memo, but decided to disregard it. In a recent interview she recalls her “butt-scratchin’” on sacred rocks while shooting Hunger Games in Hawai’i. They were, to her mind, a useful tool to relieve her of itchiness.

In the comments, which she made on a recent episode of the BBC’s Graham Norton Show this week, she says: “There were … sacred … rocks — I dunno, they were ancestors, who knows — they were sacred.” She goes on to say: “You’re not supposed to sit on them, because you’re not supposed to expose your genitalia to them”. But she did. “I, however, was in a wetsuit for this whole shoot – oh my god, they were so good for butt itching!”

She knew this was a gross cultural breach – that much is clear – but Lawrence decided to go ahead and desecrate the rocks anyway.

A pōhaku can be sacred for a number of reasons. In some cases it is because it may be the physical manifestation of an ancestor. In other cases, it may have to do with the purpose of the rock – such as birthing stones imbued with mana of the chiefs. None of these things mattered to Lawrence.

Lawrence’s story shores up a long line of Hollywood productions that have mocked traditional Hawai’ian spiritual beliefs. As scholar Lisa Kahaleole Hall notes in an essay titled: “‘Hawai’ian at Heart’ and other fictions,” Hawai’i 5-0 and Magnum PI in the 1970s and 80s and Survivor today, set the stage for this attitude. Meanwhile, cable programming on Nick at Nite “has introduced a whole new generation to the ‘secret kahuna curse’ raised when the Brady Bunch went to Hawai’i.”

This has to do with the kitsch-factor that continues to plague Kānaka Maoli – Indigenous Hawai’ians – and Hawai’i. As Hall puts it: “This has significant political implications, because by making Hawai’ianness seem ridiculous, kitsch functions to undermine sovereignty struggles in a very fundamental way. A culture without dignity cannot be conceived of as having sovereign rights, and the repeated marketing of kitsch Hawai’ian-ness leads to non-Hawai’ians’ misunderstanding and degradation of Hawai’ian culture and history.”

Also, the retelling of this story for entertainment value makes Hawai’ians and our ancestors “the butt” of her joke. Consider her response when the pōkahu – which she describes as a giant boulder – was dislodged and supposedly almost killed the sound technician on the set when it rolled down the mountain. As she tells it: “All the Hawai’ians were like, ‘Oh my God, it’s the curse’. And I’m in the corner going, ‘I’m your curse.’ I wedged it loose with my ass.”

It is high time that people realize that despite the unbridled colonial violence of modernity, for many Indigenous individual and peoples, the sacred persists in our 21st century world. Mní Wičhóni (”Water is life” in Lakȟóta) is the banner for many of the Indigenous individuals, Nations and other collectives working to protect sacred water, the source threatened by DAPL. They have brought their understandings of the sacred into the mainstream – though there is still much work to do.

Settler colonialism has historically deemed non-Christian concepts of the sacred as a form of savage superstition. This thinking persists today. That’s why we who are Indigenous must assert and claim our sovereign and spiritual connections to our respective ancestral realms – regardless of others’ laughter and dismissal. In the mean time, Lawrence should learn to scratch herself some other way.

[Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada] argues that ‘any time Hawaiians—or any other native people, for that matter—come out in force to push for more respect for our culture and language or to protect our places from this kind of destruction, we are dismissed as relics of the past, unable to hack it in the modern world with our antiquated traditions and practices.
—  David Malie, Science, Time, and Mauna a Wākea: The Thirty-Meter Telescope’s Capitalist-Colonialist Violence, Part II
We need to remember: Native Hawaiian Culture > Local Culture

I see this all the time from locals when issues on Hawaiian culture arise, where we think just cause we grew up around da culture, we have any say in how it should or shouldn’t be used.

Lucky we live HI but it doesn’t make us free from harming Native Hawaiians. We who do not have Hawaiian in our bloodlines, are haole to these lands in its original meaning. Yes, Hawai’i is a much more loving place than most and I am so proud to be from Hawai’i, but we are not free of racism, neo-colonialism, etc, including against Hawaiians.

When local culture says one thing but Hawaiian says another, Hawaiian culture wins, because it is HAWAIIAN CULTURE. We as locals, haoles, cannot combat the feelings and lived word of Hawaiians. Ainokea if we grew up with one thing and all of a sudden they saying different. Such as with Hapa. Local culture says its anyone who is mixed with anything. I grew up around that, you grew up around that. But that is false. That is erasure of the true meaning of Hapa, of what the identity of Hapa was born out of, of the Hawaiian culture attached to it. You are not Hapa if you are not part-Hawaiian, no matter what local culture says.

Hawaiian culture always comes before local culture. Respect the culture and respect Native Hawaiians.


Hawaiian selfie train let’s go!

No “from Hawai’i but not Hawaiian” ppl please. Also, even if you’re white-passing, or you feel like you don’t “look Hawaiian”, or you have even 1/1000th Hawaiian in you, please participate! The point of this selfie train is to show people that na kanaka maoli come in all different shapes and sizes. All Hawaiians are welcome!


PAʻI Foundation presents “How the Demigod Maui Taught Trees to Fly,” performed by Moses Goods at the historic Hawaii Theatre in May of 2015. 

Moses Goods (FB Comment): Ok, I’ll try to make this brief. In a few days Disney will release the movie “Moana” which will feature the akua (god/ancestor) Maui as a heroic character. Some are excited about this, others are furious that Disney would have the audacity to “take” our stories and force them to fit into their fairytale formula. Here are my thoughts: Disney is incapable of “taking” any of our stories…unless of course we cease to tell them ourselves. We know the stories of our kūpuna. Let’s dance those stories! Let’s enjoy telling those stories to our children! Let’s glean every scrap of knowledge and wisdom from those stories then discuss and debate them among ourselves!Is Disney about to make a “shit-load” of money off of our stories? Yes they are. And why? Because our stories are “frickin” amazing! Disney knows this and so should we.I may or may not go see this movie (Cultural appropriation aside, it really doesn’t look that good to me. But that’s just my opinion.) Whether I see the movie or not though, I know one thing is certain, Disney can tell these stories anyway they want, but we can tell them so much better.


 There are endless costume ideas to choose from, so why would you choose costumes that enforce racist stereotypes? (Part 1) 

 For example, instead of dressing up in costumes that enforce stereotypes, can be neo-colonialistic, and fetishize racial/ethnic groups, dress up as something not racist, like Yoshi, a lava lamp, the Black Angry Bird, or a steel blue crayon.

 Dressing up as other ethnicities enforces harmful stereotypes. More so, sexualized racial costumes result in racial fetishization, which helps lead to higher rates of rape and human trafficking. Dressing up as other ethnicities is racist. Using the culture of others as a costume is racist. Let’s #endracistcostumes

What’s difficult about being from Hawaii is that everyone has a postcard view of your home. Hawaii lives vividly in people’s minds as nothing more than a weeklong vacation – a space of escape, fantasy and paradise. But Hawaii is much more than a tropical destination or a pretty movie backdrop — just as Aloha is way more than a greeting.

The ongoing appropriation and commercialization of all things Hawaiian only makes it clearer as to why it is inappropriate for those with no ties to Hawaii, its language, culture and people to invoke the Hawaiian language. This is uniquely true for aloha – a term that has been bastardized and diminished with its continual use.

Most who invoke the term aloha do not know its true meaning. Aloha actually comes from two Hawaiian words: Alo – which means the front of a person, the part of our bodies that we share and take in people. And Ha, which is our breath. When we are in each other’s presence with the front of our bodies, we are exchanging the breath of life. That’s Aloha.

—  Janet Mock

I’ve had to bust ass to be in this industry. A lot of things are very black and white. Aquaman is especially cool because being a Kanaka Maoli, being Hawaiian, our Gods are Kanaloa and Maui, and the Earth is 71 percent water, so I get to represent that. And I’m someone who gets to represent all the islanders, not some blond-haired superhero. It’s cool that there’s a brown-skinned superhero.

Disney’s Moana MBTI/Enneagram

Originally posted by kingcamification

ENFJ 7w8

I have seen her typed as an ESFP and I very much disagree. She’s Pocahontas meets Judy Hopps. Just because someone is singing does not make them an ESFP. When she tries to insult the water the best thing she can think of is “GRR… FISH PEE IN YOU”. She has boatloads of well meaning Fe, she’s emotionally manipulative (sees Maoli’s weak spot and keenly goes for it) and generally believed she was helping her people. You might be saying “BUT SHE WANTED TO GO ON AN ADVENTURE” and well, yes, but thats a motivation, not a personality trait (but does have tertiary Se), so enneagram 7w8 (visionary/challenger) Lastly, in a village full of people, she’s the only one who believed her grandmothers mystic babble, she genuinely believed she was chosen by the sea and followed every single intuition she got, evidence enough for Ni aux (certainly not inferior Ni, come on, guys…) Wonderful character, the female lead we all deserved. 

Originally posted by aviscranio

ESFP 2w3

I don’t think this will be as controversial. THIS is the ESFP, energetic and impulsive, lovable and eager to please the crowd. Small minded but quick on his feet. Se takes center stage while Fi runs the show. He’s a bit amoral for an ESFP, but hey, he’s well intentioned.  Baloo-esque. Lively and expressive. Great character, very 3 Dimensional.

Originally posted by poefinn

Gramma Tala
ENFP 7w8

Wierdo. I love her. Best character. Wisdom based in possibility. “Is there something you want to hear?” Accepting, non-judgmental and silly. Loving and inspirational. Spiritual in a deeply individualistic manner. Does not claim to know any great truth, instead encourages people to go find it. 

Originally posted by adeles

The Ocean
INFJ 1w9

Some things you just know, y’know?

Originally posted by allmyhanddrawnsoul

ENTP 3w2

Kooky show off. Prides himself on wealth and intelligence. Cocky over-zealous trust in his own intelligence was his downfall. Low-key clumsy, High-key glamorous. Really wants to be admired, Smaug-like. Prides himself on using his resources for entrapment. 

Originally posted by aukives

Te Hiti
ISFP 9w1

Represents nature. Was wronged and exploded, otherwise slothful and passive. Gracefully forgiving when reconciled with. Fixated on appearing in the manner in which she feels. Had no sinister agenda. Just a beautiful passive representation of nature and what happens when you mess with it. 


In 1893, armed U.S. naval forces helped American sugar plantation owners illegally overthrow Hawaii’s constitutional monarchy. One hundred years later, the U.S. apologized and admitted in a resolution that Native Hawaiians had never relinquished their claims to sovereignty. Today, many Native Hawaiians continue to yearn for independence. One activist, Bumpy Kanahele, has even created his own village as a model for Hawaiian sovereignty. AJ+’s Dena Takruri reports on the Hawaiian fight for sovereignty.

I think I heard about this place a long time ago? I heard there was a lot of issues with the Sovereignty land because it works like a reservation/community that shouldn’t be applied to Hawaii because it’s not even apart of USA? I don’t know much, but I remember that… A great story nonetheless!! 

Ula’ula Island & Po Town

A brief history of Alola’s second largest island; focuses on Pokemon Lore and Native Hawaiian culture, especially on mythology based around Lono and Kanaloa.

Centered around the Calavera AU

The land where Po Town is located, along with the entirety of Ula’ula Island, once belonged to and was inhabited by a group of Kanaka Maoli (Native Alolans); though the name of the tribe has been long forgotten, they were a tribe of farmers who worshipped Tapu Bulu. Because of their numerous, generous libation and gifts to the Tapu, they were blessed with fertile land—their crops were nourished by the perfect balance of sun and rain, allowing the tribe to live a comfortable but humble existence with a bounty of food. Their thanks were given in the form of the holiday, Makahiki, a grand festival that celebrated the bounty of the land.

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jesperfaehey  asked:

actually w/ mara dyer she was whitewashed by the actual author technically but it's ridiculous that she was written as white and it's better to fc mara as a woc anyway

i wanna be v careful talking about this bc you’re 100% right that it’s better to fc mara as a woc, but i don’t know if i would go so far as to say she was whitewashed by michelle hodkin. the whole thing about mara is that she’s white passing. her family, ethnicity, and her heritage isn’t erased or hidden in fact it’s a prominent and important part in the series. but, many people in fancasts and edits and such (like that text post was talking about) choose fancasts that are white. and while mara is white passing, she is still a woman of color. 

and you might see this differently than i do, bc while i’m not desi, I am mostly kānaka maoli (native Hawaiian) and native american (cherokee), but also of some english decent. so while most of my family has darker features (darker skin and hair ect) i look white. people see me as white. I have it easy because of this, because I blend in. i remember shopping with my grandfather when I was around 7 and an some lady asking me if I was ok. i remember going to a family reunion in california maybe three years ago and I felt sooo out of place. I’ve been jealous of my cousin whos about the same age as me for as long as I can remember because I always thought she was way prettier than me and I was just too plain. so like yeah i get that these “issues” aren’t really issues and I have it good, but, just because I look more white, doesn’t mean it erases what I am and my culture and history. 

so i can see where you’re coming from saying she was white washed, and the last thing I want is to start something but I just never felt that in the novel. in the fandom, absolutely (again the point of that main post) but in the books I never felt it like that. in fact I related a lot more to her that she felt out of place in her own skin bc of her white passing. and i think thats something important that a lot of people, like myself, don’t see enough in media for both sides of the spectrum, white passing or not. 

but the real issue is that in edits and such people constantly fancast her as white. and while the argument could be made that they’re just making her “white passing” in edits, but this is unnecessary and frankly inconsiderate when most of the time those fancasts are just white women. so I 100% agree that in those cases, woc should be fancasted as mara. but when it comes to the novel, I never saw it that way. please feel free to talk to me if I’ve mentioned something wrong but this is just where i’m coming from on this.