Potent Mana: Lessons in Power and Healing
Brilliantly elucidating and weaving together the forces of indigenous sovereignty, colonialism, and personal health, Potent Mana offers a uniquely holistic and intimate portrait of the long-term effects of colonialism on an indigenous people., the kānaka maoli (Native Hawaiians). An ethnographic exploration based on fifteen months of research, the book moves the conversation on the dangerous effects of colonialism forward by exploring the theories and practices of Native Hawaiians engaged in decolonization. Decades of substance abuse, mental illness, depression, language loss, and the concomitant dispossession from sacred lands have accompanied colonialism. Consequently, healing, both mental and physical, are essential to decolonization and indigenous sovereignty in twenty-first century Hawai’i. Native Hawaiian-run treatment centers and clinics more than political rallies are centers for healing and decolonization on O’ahu today. The effects of colonialism and the measures taken to counter and move beyond it, as Wende Marshall convincingly argues, do not take place solely on a supralocal level but shatteringly involve the physical and emotional well-being of real individuals. Becoming decolonized is about overcoming the shame of colonialism, and requires a process of remembering the traditions of ancestors and reinterpreting and rewriting histories that have only been told from a colonial point of view. Decolonization is an indigenous perspective, and an understanding that health was impossible without political power and cultural integrity.
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ahupua‘a aikapu ali‘i aloha American ancestors ancient Hawai‘i anthropologists argued Auntie Rita beach biomedical bodies chant chief Chung clients clinical colonialism concept counselors decolonization discourse disease dispossession economic epidemic epistemology ethnic Europeans foreigners Hale Ola haole Haunani-Kay Trask Hawai Hawaiian culture Hawaiian health Hawaiian language healing Ho‘o Mōhala ho‘oponopono sessions homeless Honolulu humans indigenous Islands kāhuna kalo Kamakau Kame‘eleihiwa 1992 Kanaka Maoli kapu Kēhaulani kūpuna Laenui land late twentieth century living Māhele Mākua mālama mana Mauna Ala means meant Meipala mental health missionaries Native Hawaiians neocolonial neoliberalism notion O‘ahu oppression Pacific Pacific Islanders percent po‘e kahiko political pono population Porteus practices Pukui Queen Lili‘uokalani relationship resistance scholars shame social souls sovereignty movement spiritual staff story struggle taro Territory of Hawai‘i tion traditional transformed Trask treatment uhane University of Hawai‘i Wai‘anae Wai‘anae Coast Wai‘anae Hawaiians WCCMHC Western women wrote