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Social Landscapes and Kapu in the Hawaiian Islands: A case study from the Ka'û district, Hawai'i Island.

Author(s): Maria Codlin ; Mark McCoy

Year: 2016

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Summary

In ancient Hawai'i, elites employed ideology as a way of acquiring and stabilizing political and economic power. Material evidence of this is found in the numerous temples throughout the islands and in the formalized rules for constructing households. Ethnohistoric literature describes Hawaiian households as a collection of buildings with specific functional purposes. By segregating these activity areas, the Hawaiians were seen to observe kapu, a Polynesian ideological concept which, in Hawai'i, includes many restrictions around gender and eating practices. This was particularly vital to the elite as failure to observe kapu could pollute mana, the divine source of authority and power. This project looks at the

functional and spatial attributes of a number of households from Manukâ in Ka'û district on Hawai'i Island to build a picture about how ideology is incorporated into households in the region. Our research supports the idea that kapu was pervasive in the Hawaiian landscape and that its incorporation into households occurs regardless of rank.


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Cite this Record

Social Landscapes and Kapu in the Hawaiian Islands: A case study from the Ka'û district, Hawai'i Island.. Maria Codlin, Mark McCoy. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404769)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Oceania


Spatial Coverage

min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America