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Gabriel Fierro

Sociology P7
Jumper
February 11,2015

Hawaiian Culture
Culture Defined:
The roots of Hawaiian culture stretch south to old areas of Polynesia and beyond to
the islands of the Western Pacific and the edges of Asia. The first settlers of Hawaii
brought with them the more ancient Polynesian traditions and lifestyles that are still
around in Hawaii today.
Demographics:
Hawaii has a population of 1.404 million. 50.2% male and 49.8% female. 41.34% of
Hawaiis population say they are religious (18.38% Catholic, 3.7% Christian Faith,
many other religions with relatively small followings). Hawaii observes the standard
holidays like the rest of the USA, but they also recognize days such as King
Kamehameha 1 Day. Hawaii currently follows a constitutional government
reminiscent of the constitutional monarchy of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1840. They
also follow the statehood model of the US Federal Government. 90% of Hawaiis
gross capital is produced by service industries. Many immigrate to Hawaii every
year. 38% being Asian, 10% Hispanic, 23% white, and the rest come from
everywhere else. Hawaii is the worlds largest island chain at 1523 miles long. It is
also the only state not part of the north American continent.
Language(s):
Hawaiian, along with English, is an official language of the state of Hawaii. King
Kamehameha III established the first Hawaiian-language constitution in 1839 and
1840

Symbols:
Tikis:
The statues most commonly represent one of the four significant gods in Hawaiian
culture: Kane, Ku, Lono and Kanaloa. Kane is considered the creator of the universe
and the ruler of the natural world. Ku is the Hawaiian god of war. His mouth is
rendered open as if to suggest the devouring of enemies. Human sacrifices were
often made to statues of Ku. Lono is the god of rain and fertility, as well as music
and peace. Kanaloa is the god of the sea.
Tattoos:

Men and women both would get tattoos. Men would usually get more tattoos than
women. Ancient Hawaiian men would commonly get tattoos that covered the entire
body, from head to toe. Every one of their tattoos would be symbolic and hold deep
meaning. Each tattoo that the men would get portrays a story. You could read about
one's life by reading their tattoos, where they rank and where they have been.
Although women didn't get full body tattoos, they had their fair share of them.
These tattoos were just as symbolic as men and they were used for the same
purposes.
Rainbows:
The rainbow has various meanings in Hawaiian culture. They are the celestial path
Hawaiian Gods use to visit the earth but they are also the pathway for deceased
souls to transport to heaven. The rainbow primarily represents transformation. It is
also known that those who can connect to the spirit and upper world will live
abundant lives as humans.

Values:
Aloha:

Aloha is a value, one of unconditional love.


Aloha is the outpouring and receiving of the spirit.
Imiola:

To seek best life. Our purpose in life is to seek its highest form.
The value of mission and vision.
Haahaa:

The value of humility. Be humble, be modest, and open your thoughts.


Mahalo:

Thank you, as a way of living.


Live in thankfulness for the richness that makes life so precious.

Norms:
Folkway:

In Hawaiian culture, the traditional way of living is to greet and accept people
with open arms. You always say hello and treat people with kindness
More:
Hawaiian mores include their own holidays. It is a custom in Hawaii to
celebrate King Kamehameha 1 Day in Hawaii.
Taboo:
It is looked down upon when a member of society denies to be around other
members of that society. In Hawaiian culture, family and togetherness is at the
heart of their ideals.
Law:
Hawaii follows the same laws as the rest of the USA. Laws such as
discrimination and racism are used along with other laws we in California know as
well.
Sanctions:
Informal:
A simple informal sanction in Hawaii is just saying hello or aloha. In
Hawaiian culture, it is custom to say hello and greet people with kindness.
Formal:
An example of a formal sanction in Hawaii is receiving a day.
King Kamehameha 1 received his own day for a being a noble and
trustworthy king.
Material Culture:
Art:
Many natives of Hawaii take pride in possessions such as tikis and architecture of
their buildings.
Fishing:
Early Hawaiian material culture is fishing material such as hooks and lines.
Tools:
Early Hawaiian material culture also includes everyday tools used to build various
buildings and structures.
Ideal vs. Real Culture:
Alot of Hawaiian culture focuses on being kind and forgiving and understanding.
This does hold true in almost all of the parts of the culture. However, just like any

society, there are outcasts. This is one gap where still some have trouble accepting
an outsider with open arms or accepting one for past mistakes.
Social categories:
Ancient Hawaiian social categories consisted of a king, below the king were the
chiefs, and then the rest of the society came next.
Nowadays in present day Hawaii, this social structure no longer exists. However,
great respect is given to elders of families.
Subculture:
One prominent subculture of Hawaii is the surfing subculture. This subculture
consists of individuals who are fiercely passionate about their lives, much like the
main culture of Hawaiians. Although the subculture has diverged from the main
culture, surfing subculture derives its roots from that of the same of the main
culture, in which one should strive to be kind and understanding of anything and
everything,
Ethnocentrism:
Alot of native Hawaiians do not appreciate when outsiders (immigrants from other
places) try impose their way of life on them. Many natives believe their ancient
traditions are great and should not be tampered with. This is an advantage because
this will help preserve ancient Hawaiian and Polynesian ways of living. This could be
a disadvantage because it could discourage many from moving to Hawaii.

Cultural Universals:
One cultural universal is equality. In Hawaiian culture, equality is strongly stressed
and practiced. Everyone is given a chance.
Another cultural universal is forgiveness. Many societies try to be forgiving to every
member of society, much is the same in Hawaiian culture. Members are given a
second chance to right a wrong and make up for a mistake, which is one of the
many ideals of Hawaiian culture.

Work Cited:
http://www.academia.edu/3508604/Surfing_Subculture
http://www.mythichawaii.com/tiki-gods.htm
http://kapotrading.com/hawaii-culture/hawaiian-tiki-gods-and-their-meanings/
http://www.waimea.com/government.html

http://www.netstate.com/states/government/hi_government.htm