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Haole (//; Hawaiian [ˈhɔule]) is a term used in Hawaii to refer to individuals who are not descendants of the ethnic native Hawaiians or other Polynesians. The term "haole" is mostly used to refer to Caucasians (white people). In the Hawaiian language, the term has been used historically and currently to refer to any foreigner or anything else introduced to the Hawaiian islands of foreign origin.
The origins of the word predate the 1778 arrival of Captain James Cook, as recorded in several chants stemming from antiquity. Its use historically has ranged from merely descriptive to invective, while today it is considered to be mildly pejorative.
Haole first became associated with the children of European immigrants in the early 1820s. It unified the self-identity of these Hawaii-born children whose parents were as much culturally different as they were similar. With the first three generations of Haole playing key roles in the rise of the economic and political power shifts that have lasted through the current day, Haole evolved into a term that was often used in contempt especially after the missionaries imposed strict rules prohibiting games, singing, and playing. It evolved further to racial meaning, replacing "malihini" (newcomer) in addressing people of Caucasian descent who move to Hawaii from the U.S. mainland by the 1860s. A 1906 phrase book sometimes translates it to "English (language)".
The 1865 Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language, compiled by Lorrin Andrews, shows the pronunciation as ha-o-le. A popular belief is that the word is properly written and pronounced as hāʻole, literally meaning "no breath," because foreigners did not know or use the honi (hongi in Māori), a Polynesian greeting by touching nose to nose and inhaling or essentially sharing each other's breaths, and so the foreigners were described as breathless. The implication is not only that foreigners are aloof and ignorant of local ways, but also literally have no spirit or life within.
St. Chad Piianaia, a Hawaiian educated in England, said the word haole implies thief or robber (from hao, thief, and le, lazy). In 1944 Hawaiian scholar Charles Kenn wrote, "In the primary and esoteric meaning, haole indicates a race that has no relation to one's own; an outsider, one who does not conform to the mores of the group; one that is void of the life element because of inattention to natural laws which make for the goodness in man. In its secondary meaning, haole ... implies a thief, a robber, one not to be trusted.... During the course of time, meanings of words change, and today, in a very general way, haole does not necessarily connote a negative thought.... The word has come to refer to one of Nordic descent, whether born in Hawaii or elsewhere."
Native Hawaiian Professor Fred Beckley said, "The white people came to be known as ha-ole (without breath) because after they said their prayers, they did not breathe three times as was customary in ancient Hawaii."
New findings have proven all of these theories to be incorrect. The earliest use of the word "haole" in the Hawaiian language was in the chant of Kūaliʻi; in which a pre-European voyager from the island of Oʻahu describes Kahiki, a term used for all lands outside Hawaiʻi:
Ua ʻike hoʻi au iā Kahiki
He moku leo pāhaʻohaʻo wale Kahiki
ʻAʻohe o Kahiki kanaka
Hoʻokahi o Kahiki kanaka – he Haole
This roughly translates to:
I have seen Kahiki
Kahiki is an island with a puzzling language
Kahiki has no people
Except for one kind—a foreign kind
In this chant, the word "haole" has no glottal stops or elongated vowels. The pronunciation of the word to mean "breathless" is conjecture and should be disregarded as myth, as there is absolutely no evidence of anyone using the word "hāʻole" prior to Western contact.
In Hawaii's "Rainbow" ethnic melange of peoples, "Haole" is the slang word used to describe Caucasians, and by itself is not a racial slur and has no pejorative connotations. Many visitors are haole, and may be targeted by criminals, but this is because they are vulnerable tourists, not because they are haole. Rumors that in Hawaii the last day of school is called "Kill Haole Day" is nothing but a rumor. According to this rumor, on this day, "local" (nonwhite) children beat up, bully, and harass the "haole" or "white" children in their school. Some residents say there is little to no evidence or documentation of incidents involving "Kill Haole Day" or of Caucasian students being assaulted on specific days. Other residents dispute this. Hawaii schools have responded by saying that they take the initiative to achieve tolerance, safety, compassion, and acceptance for all students.
The word "Haole" is used as a racial slur or insult in incidents of harassment and physical assaults by Native Hawaiians and members of other "minority" (nonwhite) groups on white people in Hawaii—tourists as well as residents and military personnel.
|Look up haole in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Greeks in Hawaii
- Isaac Davis
- John Young
- List of ethnic slurs
- List of terms for white people in non-Western cultures
- Pākehā, the equivalent term in the Maori language
- Portuguese immigration to Hawaii
- Spanish immigration to Hawaii
- "Definition of HAOLE". Definition of Haole by Merriam-Webster. 2018-10-29. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
- Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of haole". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
- KE KUMU HAWAII 12 Nowemapa (1834) an article printed in a missionary newspaper describing a recital by haole children in November 1834, with Hawaiian royalty, the American Consulate, ship captains, other notable persons of Oahu, and many missionaries in attendance.
- HOME RULE REPUBALIKA 6 Nowemapa 1901 p.4
- Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of malihini". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
- Mark Twain (1966) . A. Grove Day, ed. Letters from Hawaii. pp. 202–203. ISBN 978-0-8248-0288-2.
- John Harris Soper (1906). Hawaiian Phrase Book: No Huaolelo a Me Na Olelo Kikeki Na Ka Olelo Beritania a Me Ka Olelo Hawaii. The Hawaiian news company. p. 64.
- Kenn, Charles W. (August 1944). "What is a Haole?". Paradise of the Pacific. p. 16.
- "Hawaiʻi: Center of the Pacific". Hawaiian Studies 107 Reader (2nd ed.). 2008.
- Cataluna, Lee (November 16, 2010). "'Kill Haole Day' myth diverts attention from real problems". Retrieved 2017-03-20.
- Keller, Larry (August 30, 2009). "Hawaii Suffering From Racial Prejudice". Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Elvi Whittaker (1986). The Mainland Haole: The White Experience in Hawaiʻi. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Ohnuma, Keiko (2002). "Local Haole - A Contradiction in Terms? The dilemma of being white, born and raised in Hawai'i". Cultural Values. 6 (3): 273–285. doi:10.1080/1362517022000007211.
- Rohrer, Judy (1997). "Haole Girl: Identity and White Privilege in Hawaiʻi". Social Process in Hawaiʻi. 38: 140–161.
- Rohrer, Judy (2006). ""Got Race?" The Production of Haole and the Distortion of Indigeneity in the Rice Decision". The Contemporary Pacific. 18 (1): 1–31. doi:10.1353/cp.2005.0102.
- Rohrer, Judy (2010). "Haoles in Hawaiʻi". Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press.