Interface of gender and culture
Tamasese, K. (1993). Interface of gender and culture. In Nikora, L.W. (Ed.) Cultural Justice and Ethics. Proceedings of a symposium held at the Annual Conference of the New Zealand Psychological Society, University of Victoria, Wellington, 23-24 August 1993.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3348
I greet you in the soothing waters of the Pacific. The birth waters of Hawai’i to the North, island of the dream time, and Aotearoa, to the south. Papua New Guinea to the West and Marquesas to the East. These islands are the gathering places of the world’s largest Continent, the Pacific. We of this continent know that her birth waters are our connection. We also know that she is woman identified. It is no surprise therefore that from Hawai’i to the north to Aotearoa in the south the positioning of women in each of these societies bears a different story to that of the women of the continent of Europe. This reality lived out in Hawai’i means women shared with men the ultimate leadership of peoples. This location of women power is named Kuhinanui. Many remarkable women of Hawai’i occupied this position. From times of peace throughout to the first clash with imposed new culture, women of Hawai’i led, bled, struggled, defied and kept the kukui of self belief burning. Genealogically Hawai’i is connected to her other sisters throughout the Pacific. The story of Kuhinanui Liliuokalani is poignant.
Psychology Department, University of Waikato
Copyright © 1993 National Standing Committee on Bicultural Issues