polynesian american

Mixed Polynesian/Cherokee

@laurelmyqueen asked:

I’m working on a story where the main character is half-Polynesian, half-Cherokee. I want to show respect for her culture and was wondering if there are any sites you can recommend for me to look up to do research that aren’t biased?

So here’s a few facts about being mixed for you. This isn’t to discourage you from writing a mixed Native— we exist, in fairly large numbers— but to explain just what you are taking on when you write one.

This is from the perspective of somebody who is, blood-wise, extraordinarily mixed thanks to generations old assimilation. I am not status and have no hope of being status because of just how mixed I am.

Tribe Reception

First off, some tribes aren’t terribly fond of mixed individuals. It happens. As a result, you’ll have to take it band by band, reserve by reserve— see whether or not they’ll accept somebody mixed whole-heartedly, conditionally, or not at all.

You’re dealing with, potentially, two tribes— depending on who the Polynesian person is from. There are, after all, multiple Polynesian tribes, each with a different culture. So narrowing down in this regard is also important.

Legal implications

Native Americans have a registry. This registry determines who is “allowed” to be Native and not. Thankfully the laws have slacked up a lot since their initial implementation, but fact remains: if a person is “too mixed” (like I am!) then they can’t be put on the registry.

Historically, as well, sometimes people would lose their status on the registry if they married outside of the tribe (Canada made any woman who married outside of the tribe “non Native”, but any woman who married in gained status. This robbed children of their language, because, as an elder put it, “mother tongue” means the language of the mother).

I’m 95% sure this isn’t the case anymore. But! Who knows. I am very unfamiliar with Polynesian peoples, so I have nothing to say on that.

Cultural Implications

You’ll be dealing with two very strong cultures, here, with their own really strong identities. That isn’t to say they can’t exist in harmony— The Rock is a prime example, being Black and Samoan— but you’re going to have to really characterize the individual as being mixed. You’ll have to see what parts of culture they take, and it could genuinely be “all of both”… unless some parts directly contradict each other, then you’ll have to figure out where the compromises are.

I’d look up “third culture kids” as some base literature on the topic. These are kids who grew up in multiple cultures and as a result have made their own, that’s basically unique to them. It’s likely not going to be identical to what you’re dealing with, but it’s something to start thinking of.

History of Assimilation

Aka, “people could get touchy”.

I’m really trying to not paint any Indigenous group as closed off or hostile towards outsiders. What I am saying is some people hold the scars of assimilation and can be very wary of their culture dying off. So there’s a certain responsibility for kids to carry on the culture, and that might be a weight. It might not be a weight at all, and both families are super accepting and they take an “all” approach to culture.

But it’s something to keep in mind, depending on the reception of whatever peoples you choose.


This is going to be tricky! I’m not sure of any one place I can point you other than The Rock’s relationship with his identities and how he talks about his daughters, because he’s the only mixed Polynesian person I know in mainstream. If followers have any comments, we’d be happy to hear them!

~Mod Lesya

I want to preface this post by saying I’m not bashing folks. I’m just giving my OWN opinion. You can agree or disagree. But this is my see on it….

I don’t like Wicca. I studied with Wiccans for 2 years and it didn’t work out. Wicca is really white. I’m almost a neo Panther. It was doomed from the start.

In addition to not caring so much for Wicca, I see a flaw. Wicca unapologetically touches any pantheon it wants to. There are rules and regulations to most religions. Wiccans be like…. “I like them, therefore I can do what I want.” And that’s not true.

You can’t just work with African religions without a formal introduction. Egypt is in Africa. What do you think is written on all those temple walls? Asian, Hindu, Polynesian, South American, etc. religions all have methods for appropriate worship. You just can’t do what you want. Ex: If you feel drawn to Hindu gods, join a temple. Catholic saints? Catholicism awaits you. You see where I’m going with this?

Just don’t choose or collect gods and decide you wanna work with them. You wanna worship, be appropriate and do it right. Don’t be lazy and colonial.

The hongi, better associated with our Maori and Hawaiian cousins, is an embrace where the exchanging of the ‘Ha’ (Breath of Life) occurs. It can also be interpreted as the sharing of both souls. Whether it be between siblings, cousin, or a man and a women the ‘Ha’ is truly a spiritual mana embrace between beings. This represents a girl taking on the honor of becoming a taupou. A hongi, sharing of 'ha’ between present and future self. #UrbanNesian

Does anyone know any resource websites/blogs that are basically galleries of PoC actors? I want to do a race-accurate casting of ATLA in the next few weeks. I’m thinking of Polynesian/Native American actors for Water Tribe characters, Japanese for Fire Nation, Chinese/Korean for Earth Kingdoms and Air Nomads? Though I’m not sure if I should have Indian or Chinese actors for Air Nomads… I’m not sure I’m being 100% accurate either, so… if I’m mistaken, please point it out, and if you know any good references, please let me know! 

(But anywho Auli’i Cravalho is Katara. PERIOD.)