The Colonization of Hawaii and Tourism Essay

4434 Words18 Pages
The Colonization of Hawaii and Tourism Since 1840 the Hawaiian Islands have been an escape to a tropical paradise for millions of tourists. People all over the world encounter alluring, romanticized pictures of Hawai'i's lush, tropical vegetation, exotic animals, beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, and fantastical women. This is the Hawai'i tourists know. This is the Hawai’i they visit. However, this Hawai'i is a state of mind, a corporate-produced image existing on the surface. More precisely, it is an aftermath of relentless colonization of the islands' native inhabitants by the United States. These native Hawaiians experience a completely different Hawai'i from the paradise tourists enjoy. No one makes this as clear as…show more content…
They (discourses) operate in relation to power" (Hall 205). In a post-colonial setting, such as Hawai’i, the knowledge and principles conveyed by the colonizing discourse dominates society and becomes a colonizing power. The "effect" is the suppression of native culture. Hall points out that discourses often contradict one another. Discourses conflict because they are produced by different societies that have different interests, and therefore, reflect different interests. For example, the native Hawaiian communal society does not place interest on the personal gain that is the foundation of capitalism. Therefore, it is not surprising that the native Hawaiian discourse of tourism is different from the United States' capitalist discourse of tourism. To fully understand the native Hawaiian discourse of tourism, it is necessary to know how it has developed. The suffering produced by the tourist industry began with the emergence of the "haole", or white settler. The first explorer to discover and colonize Hawai'i was Captain James Cook in 1778. With him he brought capitalism, modern political ideas, Christianity, and the most devastating of all, diseases. "The West" (Europe) imposed its "superior" ideology on the native Hawaiian, "primitive" culture. Hall explains that when "Europe brought its own cultural categories, languages, images, and ideas to the New World, it tried to fit the New World into existing frameworks, classifying it according to its (European)
Open Document