UH System News featured Aloha

Aloha examined in new book by curriculum group

October 21, 2011  |  Tracy Matsushima

Mānoa’s Curriculum Research and Development Group published Malcolm Nāea Chun’s Aloha: Traditions of Love and Affection. This book is an addition to their original 11-volume Ka Wana Series.

In Aloha Chun addresses the topic of love and affection and the evolution of the use of the related word, aloha. Through his research, which included the use of numerous primary sources, Chun has found that the meaning of aloha goes far beyond a simple greeting such as hello and goodbye. In fact, he asserts, aloha has undergone a post-contact transformation, so that its original meaning is now merely a secondary meaning.

He looked at how aloha has been used by Hawaiians before and after contact with explorers and, later, with missionaries. He followed the meaning of the word through history, looking at how it was used by Hawaiians and others and discovering what aloha really meant in traditional Native Hawaiian culture before European visitors came ashore in 1778.

Chun has taught Hawaiian language and folklore and has worked as a cultural specialist and educator at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health and the Queen Liliʻuokalani Childrenʻs Center. He was also a CRDG cultural specialist in the Pihana Nā Mamo Native Hawaiian Education program. Chun’s publications include translations of Hawaiian newspapers, books on traditional medicinal practice, biographies of early nineteenth century Hawaiian scholars, Hawaiian history and childrenʻs song- and story-books.

The Ka Wana Series, a set of publications developed through Pihana Nā Mamo, is designed to assist parents, teachers, students and staff in their study and modern-day application of Hawaiian customs and traditions. The Ka Wana Series covers a range of subjects including ethics and philosophy, leadership, education, health, management, protocol and religious beliefs. Each volume is illustrated with historical documents accompanied by detailed cultural descriptions or with photographs of contemporary cultural practices. Go to CRDGʻs website for information on the complete Ka Wana series.