Blog post #5

Given that this coming week’s readings focus on colonial contact between Russians/Spanish and indigenous groups, I couldn’t resist throwing in a little bit about “Hawaii’s Russian Adventure”, because it speaks very clearly to issues of differential colonial processes, indigenous agency, and mainstream interpretations.

My undergrad mentor’s dissertation work was focused on Pa’ula’ula o Hipo heiau (temple/ritual complex) located on Kaua’i Island ( It is a National Historic Landmark, but interestingly, it was listed as an NHL because of its association with the Russians during the early colonial period, rather than as a monument that depicts a very complex and dynamic period of history for the Hawaiian Kingdom. Historical documents and maps reinforced the early ideas that the fort was built for Russians, but archaeological work at the site shows that despite the incorporation of Russian architecture in the foot print of the fort, the internal structure and occupation sites on the exterior of the fort are typical of Hawaiian ritual organization.

The article does it more justice than I can pretend to do, so read it here


Hawaii's Russian adventure : a new look at old history

The book that he wrote based on his dissertation research is available in our library, and is a great read if you are bored over the summer.

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