Faculty Sponsor

Emily Plec


The 1960’s marked the Hawaiian Renaissance as kanaka maoli (native Hawaiian people) experienced a growing interest in Hawaiian language, music, traditional navigation, and hula. Today, kanaka continue to resist colonial oppression and work together to establish their identity as a people through staying connected to their traditions. There are many community leaders that kanaka maoli look up to, one of them being Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu. She is affectionately known as Kumu Hina who is an educator and community activist. The first section recalls her life story including her life growing up and achievements. Then, the essay delves into a TEDtalk by Wong-Kalu entitled “He Inoa Mana (A powerful name).” The first portion describes the rhetorical situation of the speech. Following the rhetorical situation, the essay explores Hawaiian rhetoric unique to kanaka maoli communication in Kumu Hina’s talk; concepts such as genealogical rhetoric and indigeneity, vivacity, resignification, and identification. Hawaiian influencers like Kumu Hina encourage young kanaka to embrace who they are and their culture to foster a strong lāhui (community, nation).



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