Front cover image for Seascape epistemology : decolonization within Hawaiʻi's neocolonial surf tourism industry

Seascape epistemology : decolonization within Hawaiʻi's neocolonial surf tourism industry

Karin E. Ingersoll (Author)
This dissertation articulates a contemporary Indigenous epistemology, which embraces the Hawaiian ocean-based knowledges of heʻe nalu (surfing) and hoʻokele (navigation). I term this a seascape epistemology, an indigenous approach to knowing that presumes a knowledge of the sea, and which tells one how to move through the sea, how to approach life and knowing through the movements of the world. I argue that it is an empowering epistemology for Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) because it validates Hawaiian ways of theorizing, constructing, and conceiving knowledge anchored in our genealogical, cultural, political, and spiritual relationships with the sea. This knowledge, or oceanic literacy, is collected into an archive, documenting some of the many historical and contemporary ways in which Kānaka Maoli understand and interact with the sea. I also discuss how oceanic literacy travels, creating ideologies which subjugate and marginalize, but can also create alternative spaces within dominant thought-worlds. The diverse ways in which ideologies move establish distinct political and ethical ways of structuring the world, as illustrated through the surf tourism industry in Hawaiʻi. Finally, I offer concluding thoughts about how to apply seascape epistemology through education in ka hālau o ke kai, an ocean gathering house
Thesis, Dissertation, English, 2009
University of Hawaii at Manoa