Correcting Revisionist History: The Emperical Writes Back – Re-Examining Hawaiian Dispossession Resulting from the Māhele of 1848

In 2010, Donovan Preza graduated with his M.A. Degree in Geography from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His Master’s thesis was titled “The Emperical Writes Back: Re-Examining Hawaiian Dispossession Resulting from the Māhele of 1848.” Preza, through analytical rigor and academic research, effectively turned on its head the false belief that has been promoted by the University of Hawai‘i since the 1990s that the Māhele of 1848 was a disaster for the Hawaiian people.

Preza, for his Master’s thesis, was also the recipient of the Norman Meller Research Award for the best MA research paper produced at the University of Hawai‘i in the social sciences or humanities and focused on the Pacific Islands. Here is his abstract for his thesis:

This research examines the transition of land tenure in Hawai‘i to a system of private property. Known as the Māhele, this transition was believed to have been the cause of dispossession of Hawaiians from land. This thesis questions presumptions identifying the Māhele as a sufficient condition of dispossession. Historical approach, interpretation, authority and evidence types are examined while questioning and contributing to such debates. The Māhele process is re-examined and a nuanced description of the process was provided. This resulted in the identification of previously un-examined set of data: the fee-simple sale of Government Land. Analysis of these sales revealed an alternate explanation for dispossession in Hawai‘i: the loss of governance. Ultimately this is a story of dispossession, how it has been understood, misunderstood, and re-understood in Hawai‘i.

3 thoughts on “Correcting Revisionist History: The Emperical Writes Back – Re-Examining Hawaiian Dispossession Resulting from the Māhele of 1848

  1. Great new drop! Hope to see the rest of HSLP scholars and their work published here. It certainly would help to give many a better understanding of the situation we are facing as a nation from historiography to commercial paper. I don’t mind looking back every so often but people need guidance moving forward like on how to be dealing in commercial transactions as many enslave themselves to debts underwritten by the labor of their hands with a total lack of knowledge. Born in the darkness so to say.
    Given we as a people now deal with chattel paper in money of account and purchase defective warranty deeds via secured transactions where we exchange a note as a promise to pay for a security interest in the property to be repossessed should we not comply with the terms and conditions of our note, we must learn our pledges, contracts, papers, and commercial transactions, how they function as well as the principles and maxims of the law merchant.

  2. ALWAYS appreciate those “in education” that are NOT afraid to counter the prevalent narratives. <3 Afterall, that is WHAT education is suppose to be– go figure!

    Agree w/ Lopaka– LOTS of education needed for our population not only of the past, yet also of the present. The entire legal fiction 'Strawman' UCC fractional reserve fiat debt system.. .Whew!
    Since I've been active the last years in a 'save our home after CV termination' mode I get to sit though TONS of bankruptcy/foreclosure proceedings. Locals are clueless as I was before. Homes are stolen & sold by fraud banksters for a fraction of the value STILL leaving them in debt to the same banksters– since they INTENTIONALLY didn't auction it high enuf to their buddies to cover all the bills.
    Hoping that a temp military gov while under occupation will IMMEDIATELY cease *that* so locals can learn retrospectively what was going on.

    p.s. Juan O Savin is/was just in Lahaina. Hope he/they could meet with the Council of Regency! More help/awareness can only help?

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