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Home: The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document


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'Olelo Mua
Anti-Annexation Petition [Palapala hoopii kue hoohuiaina]

This project is a loving tribute to the heroic actions of our kupuna, especially the men's and women's branches of the Hui Aloha 'Aina, who challenged the deceptive manipulations of U.S. imperialism by creating the concrete evidence of the will of the people against annexation in these petitions.

The petitions were mentioned in the Native Hawaiian Study Commission's Minority report in 1983. A concerted effort was made to retrieve them as legal evidence for Ka Ho'okolokolonui Kanaka Maoli, The Peoples' International Tribunal convened by Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell in 1993. The U.S. National Archives was contacted and responded that no search would begin without a record group (catalog) number. Nevertheless, the petitions became part of the Tribunal records in the testimony of several Kanaka Maoli speakers.

In 1996, a page of the petition, along with its record group number, was reproduced in a U.S. National Archives exhibit booklet titled Ties That Bind: Communities in American History, by Lisa B. Auel. Noenoe Silva was then able to locate the petitions in the archives in Washington, D.C. A year later a complete copy of all 556 pages finally arrived in Hawai'i Nei.

The immediate significance of the petitions is to unite all Kanaka Maoli as descendants of the people who courageously signed their names in solidarity one hundred years ago to secure our continued existence as an independent nation forever. During that struggle, James Keauiluna Kaulia, president of Hui Aloha 'Aina, said, "Mai makau, e kupaa ma ke aloha i ka aina, a e lokahi ma ka manao, e kue loa aku i ka hoohui ia o Hawaii me Amerika a hiki i ke aloha aina hope loa." "Do not be afraid, be steadfast in aloha for your land and be united in thought Protest forever the annexation of Hawai'i until the very last aloha 'aina." In the spirit of these powerful words we unite again to follow the lead of our kupuna.

The petitions were first presented to the public on January 17, 1998 during the Sovereignty Sunday events held on the Iolani Palace grounds. Since then, the petitions have begun to make their way throughout Ka Pae 'Aina Hawai'i, restoring the truth that our kupuna [...] we are as a people, a culture, and a nation. Our ancestors' actions to make pono the wrongs of their time infuse us with the mana to make pono ours. We are the continuation of a living culture: the aloha 'aina of this land.

We are especially grateful to Tom Cummings, Dr. Guy Kaulukukui, and Sarah Ili of the Bishop Museum Education Department for providing us with clean copies of the petitions. We also thank Neena Sachdeva, Luella Kurkjian, and Desoto Brown of the Bishop Museum Archives for granting and arranging access to the petitions.

We most humbly acknowledge the critical contributions made to this project by Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell and Maile Meyer. Sincere mahalo to Kimo Campbell of Pohaku Foundation, Ahupua'a Action Alliance, Hardy Spoerh of Community Development Pacific, Inc., Hawai'i Community Foundation and anonymous donors.

We send a special mahalo to Bumpy Pu'uhonua Kanahele, who showed up miraculously at the right moment, and to Alison Foo, Jay, Mandy, and Shannon at the Office Spot in Kane'ohe.

Nalani Minton and Noenoe Silva, Ahuimanu, July 1998

The Petitions
as reproduced in print by Nalani Minton and Noenoe K. Silva, July 1998
The petitions are arranged first by island. The women's petitions within each island are first, divided into districts. The men's petitions follow, divided into districts as well. A few pages have more than one district on one page, e.g., one page has signatures from both Wai'anae and Honolulu. Some of the pages have no district noted; in those cases, we left the pages in the order that we found the original copies, in the hope that they belong in the district of the surrounding pages. We have made the best copies we think possible. Unfortunately, some of the original pages were in poor condition. Further, the originals are brittle, and pieces of the bottom of some pages have broken off. A good clean copy from the original is held in the Archives of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. Researchers may find some signatures legible on that copy that are not legible here.

The Petitions
as reproduced in digital form by the University of Hawai'i at Manoa Library, 2002
The petitions that were scanned for this website were provided by the Bishop Museum Archives in Honolulu. The University of Hawai'i at Manoa Library thanks the Bishop Museum Archives, and especially Desoto Brown, for their cooperation on this project.
The organization of the petitions on this website follows that of Nalani Minton and Noenoe K. Silva, as described above. However, users should note that the numbering of the digital copies does not correspond to the print copies. Further, the numberings of the digital and print copies do not correspond to the numbering of the original copies held at the U.S. National Archives.

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