Reimagining Nature in Selected Hawaiian Literature: An Indigenous Ecological Perspective

Kristiawan Indriyanto

Universitas Prima Indonesia, Indonesia; University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran

Kristiawan Indriyanto is Lecturer at the Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Universitas Prima Indonesia, Medan City, 20118, Indonesia. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Universitas Gadjah Mada on the topic of postcolonial ecocriticism in Hawai’ian-American literature. His main research interests are analyzing indigenous literature with a postcolonial ecocriticism perspective, primarily focusing on Native Hawaiian literature and the decolonizing discourse of Hawaiian indigene through aloha ‘āina. His other interests lie in the emerging field of eco-narratology, mainly concerned with narrative voices and spatiality in literature, focusing on Asian-American diasporic experiences in Hawaii.


https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7827-2506



Abstract

This study analyzes four selected works of Hawaiian literature, focusing on the refiguration of nature, presenting it as an active and conscious subject. Contrary to Western anthropocentrism, which instrumentalized nature, Hawaiian literature underscores the profound interconnectedness shared between humanity and the more-than-human world. This distinctive environmental imagination permeates the narratives and rejects Western distinctions between the human and non-human realms by intertwining the supernatural and human agency. The reading of selected Hawaiian literature analyzes how nature is positioned as an active subject with its agency, not merely a passive, static setting. Personification in Hawaiian literature primarily focuses on female figures, Pele as the volcano goddess and various ancestral spirits known as ‘aumakua. This critique of anthropocentrism is deeply entrenched in Hawaiian cultural and spiritual traditions, where gods, goddesses, and 'aumakua personify various elements and forces within the environment. This reimagining invites us to consider a different environmental imagination, recognizing the active agency of the non-human world. In conclusion, this study highlights how the Native Hawaiians ecological discourse seeks to reorient humanity’s relationship with the natural world.

Keywords:

Anthropocentrism, environmental imagination, indigenous perspective, Hawaiian literature, personification of nature

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Published
2024-06-06


Indriyanto, K. (2024) “Reimagining Nature in Selected Hawaiian Literature: An Indigenous Ecological Perspective”, Crossroads. A Journal of English Studies, (44), pp. 21–38. Available at: https://czasopisma.filologia.uwb.edu.pl/index.php/c/article/view/2253 (Accessed: 16 July 2024).

Kristiawan Indriyanto 
Universitas Prima Indonesia, Indonesia; University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran

Kristiawan Indriyanto is Lecturer at the Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Universitas Prima Indonesia, Medan City, 20118, Indonesia. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Universitas Gadjah Mada on the topic of postcolonial ecocriticism in Hawai’ian-American literature. His main research interests are analyzing indigenous literature with a postcolonial ecocriticism perspective, primarily focusing on Native Hawaiian literature and the decolonizing discourse of Hawaiian indigene through aloha ‘āina. His other interests lie in the emerging field of eco-narratology, mainly concerned with narrative voices and spatiality in literature, focusing on Asian-American diasporic experiences in Hawaii.

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7827-2506