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A Chosen People, a Promised LandMormonism and Race in Hawai'i$
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Hokulani K. Aikau

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816674619

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816674619.001.0001

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La‘ie, a Promised Land, and Pu‘uhonua: Spatial Struggles for Land and Identity

La‘ie, a Promised Land, and Pu‘uhonua: Spatial Struggles for Land and Identity

Chapter:
(p.55) 2 La‘ie, a Promised Land, and Pu‘uhonua: Spatial Struggles for Land and Identity
Source:
A Chosen People, a Promised Land
Author(s):

Hokulani K. Aikau

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816674619.003.0003

In 1865 the Mormon Church purchased 6000 acres of the Lāʻie ahupuaʻa to provide Hawaiian Latter-day Saints with a gathering place in Hawaiʻi where they could live among coreligionists. It also became a site where many Native Hawaiians could revive their cultural relationship to the land and the sea. This chapter discusses how Lāʻie served the institutional needs of the church while also meeting the cultural needs and desires of Hawaiian Latter-day Saints. It traces the spatial struggles over land and identity in Hawaiʻi beginning in the mid-nineteenth century when ʻāina (land, that which feeds) was transformed into a commodity that could be bought and sold. These spatial struggles were produced through the daily interactions of differentially empowered people living side by side and the meanings and desires they brought to this place.

Keywords:   Mormons, Hawaiʻi, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Lāʻie ahupuaʻa, land, identity

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