This is the first known photograph ever taken of a surfer. Surfing was banned in Hawaii by missionaries in the 1700s for its “ungodliness,” but fortunately the natives didn’t pay much heed to that decree.
And this is an example of why it is offensive to appropriate Hawaiian culture. I’m not talking about surfing, I’m talking about the caption. This is why it isn’t okay for non-Hawaiians to have luaus, wear grass skirts and leis, have tiki bars, and get hula dancer tattoos.
Hawaiians were essentially banned from their own culture. The things you appropriate were things the Hawaiians were told were sins. My ancestors were told they were going to hell for their religion. The missionaries didn’t just bring protestantism to the islands, they also brought suicide. People felt so guilty about how they lived that they killed themselves.
The things Hawaiians were made to feel ashamed of, the things they had to atone for are now thought of as “kitsch” and “exotic” by non-natives.
This excerpt from a zine is quite fitting (even though it is about Native Americans, it applies here too): “Spiritual practices of Native peoples are particularly prone to appropriation by the dominant culture. It is exceptionally ironic, given that a!er colonization, it was not until the passage of the 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act that Native people in the United States were legally permitted to practice their traditional spirituality. Since the colonization of this continent by white settlers, Native people have faced monumental obstacles to the free exercise of their spiritual practices, including boarding schools, forced relocation, endless broken treaties, “kill the Indian, save the man” policies, and forced assimilation. So it is particularly insensitive for white people to attempt to justify their/our use of Native spiritual practices when Native people themselves have often been brutally persecuted for the same.”-Cultural Appreciation or Cultural appropriation
But anyway, this photo rules.