Continuity and Change in Early Colonial-Era Hawai‘i: An Examination of Foreign Artifacts from Nu‘alolo Kai, Kaua‘i Island
Author(s): Summer Moore
Archaeologists increasingly emphasize the role of social and cultural context in understanding how indigenous groups in colonial settings appropriated foreign goods. While documentary accounts of explorers, traders, and missionaries have long been used by Pacific historians to examine foreign trade in Hawaii’s early colonial period, archaeological sites from this period have rarely been identified. As a result, we know little about how foreign goods acquired through such exchanges were actually used and understood by local Hawaiian communities. A legacy collection of foreign objects from Nu‘alolo Kai, a deeply stratified residential site on Kaua‘i Island occupied through the mid-nineteenth century, offers a unique source of information on this topic. Protected deposits at the base of a cliff preserved a remarkable assemblage of imported materials in the site’s upper layers, which include copper, iron, glass, ceramics, cloth, and Bible pages printed in the Hawaiian language. While foreign goods at indigenous sites have often been taken as evidence for transformative change, more recent views highlight the ways that unfamiliar objects can be recontextualized in new settings. This paper argues that residents of Nu‘alolo Kai appropriated foreign objects within a framework characterized not only by innovation but also by pervasive continuity.
Cite this Record
Continuity and Change in Early Colonial-Era Hawai‘i: An Examination of Foreign Artifacts from Nu‘alolo Kai, Kaua‘i Island. Summer Moore. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443447)
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min long: 153.633; min lat: -51.399 ; max long: -107.578; max lat: 24.207 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22243