Na Lula Halawai: A Parliamentary Guide to Conducting Meetings in Hawaiian

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For more information visit Hawai‘i State Association of Parliamentarians

Excerpts from Na Lula Halawai.

“It is a sad reality of Hawaiian history that the language of the aboriginal people of the Hawaiian Kingdom was nearly lost in the 20th century as a result of efforts of U.S. forces in the Kingdom at the turn of the century to enforce an agenda of ‘one nation, one language’ in favor of the United States and the English language despite the lack of a bilateral treaty of cession between two sovereign states. A great debt of gratitude is owed to those who, nevertheless, labored to publish Hawaiian language literature and government documents throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries for future generations. This preservation effort has blossomed in recent decades as more and more cultural and educational organizations have been established to support and encourage what has become known since the 1970s as the ‘Hawaiian Renaissance,’ a concerted effort to reinvigorate studies in Hawaiian culture, art, history, language, and governance.” p. iii.

“Like Robert’s Rules, this book is also intended for non-legislative groups and organizations. And, Henry M. Robert adapted his rules manual of those in use by legislative assemblies at the time, this manual is based on and adapted from the Rules of Order once used in the early Hawaiian legislatures. The oldest known such pamphlets, published in both Hawaiian and English, date back to 1854 and were intended for use in the House of Nobles (Hale ‘Aha ‘olelo Ali‘i) and House of Representatives (Hale o ka Po‘e Koho ‘ia), both of which are included in the Appendix for reference. These early pamphlets are treasures of Hawaiian history and often bear amazing resemblance to Robert’s Rules, which is no surprise since it seems clear that the early Hawaiian legislative rules were themselves adapted from US models familiar to the early Western advisors to the Hawaiian monarchy. Subsequent legislatures in Hawai‘i revised their rules throughout the Kingdom period and as late at 1909 in the Territory. These and various early legislative journals and minutes have been drawn upon and adapted by the authors to establish acceptable terminology and grammar for current use.” p. 1.

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2 thoughts on “Na Lula Halawai: A Parliamentary Guide to Conducting Meetings in Hawaiian

  1. I whole-heartedly agree that Hawaii wasn’t colonialized; but in 1898 became under forced Americanized assimilation that continues to this day. Kamehameha and Ka’ahumanu picked the brains of Vancouver, their close friend, on how various nations throughout the world related and worked with each other. The Hawaiian philosophy to adopt, adapt, and be adept with was an advantage to its progress which made it a very progressive, modernized and highly styled civilization. It’s this uniqueness that set it apart from most nations. The pitfall was the racism of Europe and the Anglo and Franco countries that used double-standards because of the Papal Bulls and the evolution of the doctrines of Manifest Destiny. King George acquiesced in allowing Kamehameha his autonomy and independence and agreed to be Hawaii’s protectorate; thus the Union Jack on the flag to forewarn other nations that Hawaii was under the protection of England.

    Kauikeaouli went further and stylized and reformed the governance similar to that of Great Britain to better interrelate with other nations and knew the U.S. was making a bid to influence his kingdom and secure closer relations to the U.S. for ulterior motives. He understood the dynamics of the Western civilization and thus used white men to communicate with Europe and the U.S.; for they would take the word of a white person more readily than a non-white person. William Richards was commissioned by the King to bring them abreast with the Western World; he left the missionary to do the King’s bidding which the missionary board was against. He used the Francis Wayland’s book on political economy, “Elements of Political Economy” (1837) to instruct the King and his high chiefs.

    We can already see the Doctrines of Terra Nullius (1095) doesn’t apply and Roman Pontifex (1452) no longer applied since the Hawaiian Kingdom professed being a Christian country due to the Missionaries arrival and conversion of many Hawaiians and maintained Western civilized standards while maintaining its culture, heritage, and customs. Hence, the Inter Caetera (1493) could not be used either; this was the Doctrine of Conquest. These were the main doctrines adopted in the doctrines of Manifest Destiny and colonialism.

    It was imperative for the King to garner treaties with the Western and Anglo countries such as U.S.A. to be on par with world nations and to secure compacts and agreements to recognize the Hawaiian Kingdom as a peer and a sovereign independent nation-state. Thus the Hawaiian Kingdom joined the Family of Nations and the first non-white nation to be included in their midst.

    This is the Hawaiian Kingdom’s uniqueness and irrefutable status. No matter how the U.S. tries to relegate and treat Hawaii as their colony with indigenous people; it’s impossible to do when knowing the facts. The cosmopolitan make up of the residents in the Hawaiian Kingdom further demonstrates that Hawaii couldn’t fit the mold of colonization’ where east meets west in Polynesia. The forced assimilation of U.S. American WASP mainstream society is what Hitler did in Europe by Germanizing it; he didn’t colonize it. That practice is against international laws. The only logical resolution is de-occupation and not de-colonization.

  2. Aloha kakou.
    It is noteworthy the forthcoming book funded by the local Bureau of Indian Affairs [a.k.a. O.H.A.] “Na Lula Halawai” by William J. Puette & Keao NeSmith will commendably have an audible addition later this year to facilitate those unfamiliar with ka ‘olelo Hawai’i. The book’s co-author Dr. Keao NeSmith had an article on the subject in OHA’s recent “Ka Wai Ola” issue (Jan 2014).

    There are advantages by way of viewpoint in the traditional ethos of ho’oponopono in decision making by group consensus, Robert’s Rules as an opinion reflects the ethos of the dominance hierarchy whereby the recipient abides by regulations to the oft detriment of true justice and diversity facilitation. There was a time when the First Nation’s people over in the U.S. would pass the peace pipe at community assemblies the rule of thumb being whoever held the pipe was the one to speak.

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