The Proclamation of Restoration of the Independent Nation of Hawai’i:
A Fantasy Theme Analysis

By Darin J. Arsenault, May 1997

Table of Contents




When people think of Hawai’i, they often imagine scenes of sundrenched beaches and aquamarine waters, exotic flowers and mysterious rainforests, ancient volcanoes and extinct lava beds. But there is far more to Hawai’i than the pristine views one may seek in Kauai’s Waimea Canyon or the green lushness another can find in Maui’s Hana Valley. Despite this natural beauty, it is important not to forget that there is a people here, a people who consider themselves stripped of their land and rights to choose their own form of government. The purpose of this thesis is to discuss the rhetorical aspects of a socially prominent group of Hawai’ians known as the Independent and Sovereign State of Hawai’i (also referred to as the Independent Nation). The focus is on dramatistic themes (commonly cited as fantasy themes) that can be discovered in the messages this group is sending to the public arena within a speech titled the Proclamation of the Restoration of the Independence of the Sovereign Nation State of Hawai’i. The public arena includes members and constituents of the Independent Nation, involved and uninvolved Hawai’ian residents, and mainland Americans, including the federal government. This chapter addresses several issues. First, the historical background for Native Hawai’ians’ social-psychological, socio-economic, and environmental problems is traced. Second, a chronology of the Independent Nation is described, with a note about how they are publicly involved with the Native Hawai’ian sovereignty movement. Third, fantasy theme analysis is discussed as a method for understanding rhetorical aspects of the Independent Nation message.

Historical Background

Since 1778, when Captain James Cook of the English Navy was attributed as the first white man to step foot on Hawai’ian soil, haoles (foreigners) have wreaked havoc upon these enchanted lands and its people. Three issues appear paramount here: the indigenous Hawai’ian population has substantially decreased in number, political power through land ownership is increasingly being utilized and enforced by outsiders, and environmental protection for these lands is lacking. These issues all combine to create transgenerational ethnic hardship for Native Hawai’ians.

Hawai’ian population reductions are directly attributed to Cook (Kuykendall & Day, 1976, Stannard, 1989): his men brought new diseases with them, such as tuberculosis and syphilis, decimating the population. Subsequent colonization of the Hawai’ian islands by steadily increasing numbers of American and British missionaries and business owners, Chinese and Japanese plantation workers, and related kin did not help increase Native numbers. Native Hawai’ians did not increase with foreign integration, instead, they continued to decrease in number as haole contact increased. This decrease is not due just to disease or nonintegration with outsiders. Although medical intervention has tackled various health problems over the last one hundred years there has been no real true recovery of the indigenous population. The declining numbers of Native Hawai’ians have alerted authorities to control the influx of visitors in order to reduce disease. Yet despite the growing concern for increasing Hawai’ian stock, the federal government can do little or nothing to slow this loss. Today, Native Hawai’ians amount to approximately 20% of the population (Francia, 1995), numbering about 202,000 (Marsella, Oliveira, Plummer, & Crabbe, 1995). Out of this group, 9,344 are pure-blood Hawai’ian; the remainder range from 50-99% mixed-blood. This is an incredible change from the 1853 census of 71,019 pure-blooded Native Hawai’ians (Francia, 1995) or 1779 estimates that ranged between 200,000 to 400,000 people (Stannard, 1989).

The reduction of the indigenous Hawai’ian population has not been without its social-psychological toll. Blaisdell (1993) best summarizes the health status of Native Hawai’ians, noting that these people

...continue to have the worst health and socioeconomic indicators of the various ethnic groups in their home islands of [Hawai’i]. Cardiovascular disorders, cancer, diabetes, obstructive lung disease, maternal and infant ill health and mental distress are the prominent maladies. Tobacco smoking, high-fat diet, alcohol drinking, hyperlipidemia and obesity are major lifestyle risk factors. Societal factors, such as depopulation, foreign transmigration, colonial exploitation, coercive assimilation, cultural conflict and racism persist.... (p. 116)

Blaisdell further notes that there is a high rate of depression and earlier mortality rates than most other groups within the Hawai’ian Islands. These physical and psychological factors relate to general Hawai’ian role positions in society. Blaisdell points out that Native Hawai’ians are underrepresented in management positions and overrepresented in service occupations, have lower education and higher poverty rates than all other island groups, and have higher rates of crime than Caucasians, Filipinos, Chinese, and Japanese in Hawai’i. Native Hawai’ians are discriminated against when seeking better education and work opportunities and typified in tourist packages as simple people who provide sumptuous feasts and dancing for the pure enjoyment of entertaining visitors. These categorizations are detrimental to the psychological and social health of these people.

A second problem plaguing these people is the takeover and nonrelease of their lands through Westerners’ gain of political power (Francia, 1995). In order to understand the depth of this problem one must be knowledgeable about pre-haole Hawai’i. Prior to Cook’s arrival, aina (land) on different islands was not owned, although it was divided into ‘okana (districts) by its rulers for ali’i nui to control. ‘Okana were further divided into ahupua’a, or pie shaped sections that ranged radially from the mountains to the sea (Trask, 1993). On different sections of ahupua’a existed the ‘ohana: extended families that lived off the land. Each ahupua’a was self-sufficient and independent: ‘ohanas within an ahupua’a near the ocean exchanged with its ‘ohanas in the mountains. Trask points out that

...as in most indigenous societies, there was no money, no idea or practice of surplus appropriation, value storing or payment deferral because there was no idea of financial profit from exchange. In other words, there was no basis for economic exploitation in pre-haole Hawai’i.... (p. 5)

In such a way, the economic system between ‘ohanas depended upon sharing and kinship. Trask is explicit in her explanation that this economic system is unlike the European feudal system because the Hawai’ian people were free to move to other lands if they wanted and were not bound to provide military power for the ali’i nui if they declined to do so.

Besides kinship within the ahupua’a (Kanahele, 1986; Trask, 1993), there existed a relationship between the ali’i nui (those in power) and maka’ainana (the common people). The maka’ainana expected the ali’i nui to lead them and provide for them, and the ali’i nui required the people to respect and follow their guidance. The people wanted to live in areas in which the ali’i nui provided consistency and order for all. It was a very important ali’i nui indeed that had many ‘ohanas within its ahupua’a. The importance of ali’i nui cannot be overlooked. Besides attempting to attract maka’ainana the ali’i nui competed for political power within its own group by trying to achieve greater amounts of mana (spiritual and political power) than his or her rivals. The more mana one had the more important he or she was. Thus the past as well as present history of an ali’i nui was paramount in terms of mana. The most powerful ali’i nui were guided in their decisions by kahuna (priests), who stressed the relationship of the land and sea to the people. All things and objects, animate as well as inanimate were interconnected. For all Hawai’ians there existed a relationship between every living and nonliving thing.

The entrance of Cook in 1778 and the stream of haole immigration changed the Hawai’ian economic and social system almost overnight (Dudley & Agard, 1993; Kanahele, 1986; Trask, 1993). The newcomers thought the Natives to be childish and superstitious. Even though the Hawai’ians had laws and a political system, superior navigation and fishing techniques, land cultivation and a code of morality, they were deemed as culturally and morally inferior heathens to be dealt within under the Western concept of Manifest Destiny. Manifest Destiny suggests that it is the preordained destiny of the conqueror to spread its people, to travel and discover, and to claim lands discovered under the name of a ruler. Manifest Destiny in Hawai’i worked, due to the Hawai’ians’ ignorance of capitalism, and was used to usurp the Natives’ power over themselves and their lands by removing them from these areas, capitalizing on land use and ownership, and achieving political control.

Political control of Hawai’i under Hawai’ian rule began to erode even before Kamehameha I (1758-1819) unified most of the Hawai’ian islands under a monarchy in 1795 with a gift of British weapons (Dudley & Agard, 1993). In the twenty years since Cook had landed white traders and businessmen had already gained political footholds within the ali’i nui counsels and Kings’ Cabinets, and were attempting to change the economic system to a capitalist one. The 1795 unification of the Islands was just another step to easing in haole control. Foreign ships were frequenting the Islands ever increasingly and many of the visitors began to take up permanent residence. Alarmed at the increasing death rates of Hawai’ians and international disagreements over how the Monarchy should be run, Kamehameha I and his successors tried in vain to rule harmoniously despite the encroaching white influence. This was becoming difficult because the Hawai’ian world and its values had been turned topsy-turvy from haole contact and influence.

The Hawai’ian monarch knew that it was important to understand the world outside the Hawai’ian Islands (Dudley & Agard, 1993). Times had changed greatly over a matter of generations. Traders now brought highly desirable wares, sailors introduced different sailing techniques, and soldiers displayed superior weapons. Capitalism in the form of ownership and money was introduced. Although this was a foreign concept to the Hawai’ians capitalism was accepted, and quickly instituted. Compared to the Hawai’ian system western ways were technologically advanced: this greatly interested Natives who saw many foreign ways as better than local ones. When missionaries began to arrive in 1820 and preach a different God and Creator to the Natives, many were ready to listen because the haole God seemed to provide much that was desirable. But the white man had a much different mission than providing an economic system and spiritual fulfillment.

As haole intervention increased, whites became involved in local government, which originally included passing along technological information and ever increasingly providing advice on how to deal with foreigners (Dudley & Agard, 1993; Trask, 1993). Westerners were given political power by the king or his ali’i nui and rewarded for their loyalty through the use of lands for their own personal use. These haoles became quite adept at making money on these lands through enterprises such as selling and leasing land as well as building and running sugar plantations. Further, white members vied to influence rulers to follow the foreign capitalist views. Great Britain and the United States vied within and out of the Hawai’ian landscape to take political possession of the Islands.

The Hawai’ians were not completely ignorant to what was happening. Native factions were gradually becoming unhappy with the increasing political power of the haoles and communicated their unrest to the King through petitions. Arguing that the foreigners would eventually gain complete power, they noted that few of the haoles had pledged allegiance to the Hawai’ian Crown and had decided instead to maintain prior loyalties or dual memberships. The petitioners pointed out that the many changes made within the Hawai’ian government to accommodate the haoles and maintain relations with the international world was leading to gradual disaster. The maka’ainana and some of the chiefs did not trust these foreigners who built and polluted and did not contribute unless they gained something in return. Regardless, the more innovative haole businessmen were able to convince the King and chiefs of their honorable intentions.

The petitions against the haoles went unheeded by successive Kings until it was too late (Dudley & Agard, 1993; Kame’eleihiwa, 1992). A consequential time period here is that of King Kamehameha III, who allowed whites in his Cabinet key positions because they provided knowledge and advice about the ever enclosing international world. When several of his American Cabinet members began to urge land division to halt imminent British takeover, Kamehameha III decided to follow their advice and award and sell lands to Hawai’ians because this would show a willingness to work within a similar system as that of Westerners. In what is known as the Mahele (the land division of 1848-1850), the lands were split up into divisions, which allowed haoles and Natives to buy land parcels for their own use. The Mahele was capitalized on by the haoles to assume control over the Hawai’ian Islands.

Conversely, Hawai’ians did not have the same understanding of capitalism including land ownership as their capitalistic counterparts. Hawai’ians enjoyed the money they received for exchanging goods and services but they spent it too freely because they did not fully understand the consequences of credit. They subsequently began to sell lands in order to pay off large debts. With the loss of ‘okana came the loss of political power. Hawai’ians who gave away or sold their land quickly found themselves unable to access prior fishing sites or taro patches, and unable to represent themselves as equals to Westerner landowners because they no longer owned land. In the capitalist system, the person who did not own land did not have the same rights as those who did. Kamehameha III was greatly saddened by this change of events and stopped showing up for Cabinet meetings out of grief, thus ensuring haole Cabinet members more control. When laws in the 1850’s were changed to allow anyone to buy or sell land, haoles bought up available parcels in large quantities. The Hawai’ians were unable to stop these new laws because of the increasing threat of haole military power: there were frequently American and British warships in the distance or in the harbors, and Hawai’ians knew that they could not match foreign military strength. King David Kalakaua (1836-1891), the last male monarch of Hawai’i, wrote in 1888 (Marsella, Oliveira, Plummer, & Crabbe, 1995) that

...in the midst of [sic] prosperity and advancement it is but too apparent that the natives are steadily decreasing in numbers and gradually losing hold upon the fair land of their fathers....(p. 98)

This prophecy came true in the year 1893.

On January 17, 1893 Queen Lili’uokalani (Kalakaua’s successor) and the Hawai’ian people were overthrown through the efforts of the Hawaiian League, an organization that contained prominent businessmen such as Sanford Dole and Lorrin Thurston, under the pretense that militant factions of Hawai’ians posed physical danger to American and British colonists (Dudley & Agard, 1993; Kanahele, 1986; Trask, 1993). The Hawaiian League claimed that the Constitution Lili’uokalani was proposing to the people implied treason. She was arrested and removed from the Throne with the threat of Hawai’ian bloodshed if she resisted. With this stepping down, the Native Hawai’ians lost control over their futures. Lands continued to be taken from the people and the haoles continued to benefit. Hawai’ians were forgotten, overlooked and discriminated against by participants of the new government. Hawai’ians were treated as second-class citizens, stereotyped as childish natives, and prevented from gaining the same educational and work opportunities as American citizens. For example, American and Hawai’ian children were segregated into different school systems: Native children were forced to accept inferior facilities and teaching methods. Further, Native adults were denigrated into working low-status service occupations, forced into accepting the new political structure, and had no choice but to pay taxes to the new government.

Since Hawai’i achieved American statehood in 1959, the federal government has assumed and controlled a trusteeship of almost half the Hawai’ian soil (Francia, 1995). Pride in ethnic heritage has motivated certain Native Hawai’ians to try and regain their homelands, a total area of 1.4 million acres-occupied or leased out by the federal government as "trust assets." One such area is the H-3 of O’ahu, an almost ten-mile span of highway meant to provide access between various military bases. Surrounded by semi-tropical rain forests and developed almost on top of two ancient heiaus (temples), this highway has cost upwards of $900 million. At almost $100 million a mile, this is one of the most expensive roads in the country, and the federal government does not want to give it up. Another area is the military bases themselves. In O’ahu, the bases occupy 231,000 acres, and various native factions want the military to move out. Besides the military, haoles have purchased large areas of land, especially on O’ahu, and turned them into housing and commercial developments. A real estate boom in the 1970’s caused housing to increase beyond what most Native Hawai’ians can afford.

A third problem plaguing the Native Hawai’ians is the destruction of their environment. Part of this destruction is caused by tourism (Francia, 1995), which, although accounting for one third of the economy, brings many disadvantages. First, there are too many people visiting the Hawai’ian Islands. Many travel agencies and hotels book visitors into carefully tailored vacation packages, providing them access to landmarks and world-renowned beaches which do not provide sufficient animal and plant recovery time. Such local "tourist traps" as Hanauma Bay Underwater Park in O’ahu are quickly being destroyed as hoards of uncaring haoles ignore warning signs and walk on precious reefs, killing precarious ecosystems unable to recover in the two days a week of rest they are given. Second, historic sites as well as untouched land areas are being destroyed as development continues. Hotels continue to be built on sacred areas, golf courses appear where rain forests previously existed, and little attention is being directed at the land’s original use. Third, many businesses disregard the land and its vulnerability. For example, overfishing in little regulated areas of the Hawai’ian Islands tends to disrupt ecosystems that were once in harmony before haole contact.

The Native Hawai’ians consider these problems as detrimental to their way of life and are increasingly becoming involved in issues of self-determination, land division and ownership, and environmental protection. A collective group of Native Hawai’ians called Kanaka Maoli, or the People of Hawai’i, has evolved within the past decade to number almost 40,000 (Dudley & Agard, 1993; Francia, 1995). Factions such as Ka Lahui Hawai’i, Ka Pakaukau, and the Independent Nation of Hawai’i have evolved in this larger group with slightly different goals in mind. Some groups want the land given back along with complete control over it. This land release would include political autonomy from the United States, where a monarchy similar to the earlier Hawai’ian constitution would be resurrected. Other groups suggest what they term a "more realistic view"; a "nation within a nation" (Trask, 1991; Trask, 1993). Here, the United States would give Hawai’ian land back to the people and allow Hawai’ians to govern themselves, providing that they follow certain American laws. This scenario would be similar to the current status of the Native American Indian.

Apparently the claims of these groups are becoming recognized at the federal government level. Specifically, in 1992, after several rallies in Honolulu garnered state and national attention, President Clinton announced to a crowd of listeners in Waikiki that he would get more involved in "issues of concern to Native Hawai’ians" (Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1993, p.1322). On November 23rd of the same year, he signed a formal apology to natives and locals (Francia, 1995; Trask, 1993). Known as Senate Joint Resolution Public Law 103-150 (1993), this edict notes that the 1893 overthrow of Queen Lili’uokalani by American businessmen and the U.S. Marine Corps was unfair to the Hawai’ian people:

...it is proper and timely for the Congress on the occasion of the impending one hundredth anniversary of the event, to acknowledge the historic significance of the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai’i, to express its deep regret to the Native Hawai’ian people, and to support the reconciliation efforts of the State of Hawaii...with Native Hawai’ians.... (p. 4)

Rather than giving the Hawai’ians their land back in "one fell swoop," this edict promises instead that Congress and the President

...acknowledge the ramifications of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai’i, in order to provide a proper foundation for reconciliation between the United States and the Native Hawai’ian people...[and to] support reconciliation efforts between the United States and the Native Hawai’ian people.... (p. 4)

In essence this speech provides a concession of error by the United States over its annexation of Hawai’i and a declaration of future intentions towards bettering Kanaka-Maoli and U.S. relations.

For many, this apology appears to be a step in the right direction (Carroll, 1994). Yet many of the Kanaka Maoli continue to rally, calling out for a "return to the land" and for "release" from the United States (Trask, 1991; Trask, 1993), because this was not specifically addressed in Clinton’s formal apology. Of special significance here are the speeches, documents, and statements different Kanaka Maoli factions are presenting at various local, state, and federal levels. Members are able to persuade recruits to join ranks and support Hawai’ian Aloha, as well as receive permission to speak at various functions. Factions do differ on issues of self-determination and land possession: some groups obey existing American laws and try to work within the systems whereas others do not. The current study provides a preliminary examination of the rhetoric of one of the more radical groups, a group known publicly as the Independent Nation of Hawai’i. Such an analysis provides a better understanding of Kanaka Maoli viewpoints. Indeed, several current studies point out the need for a greater awareness of Native Hawai’ian culture and its relationship with urban society (Dudley & Agard, 1993; Howard, 1974; Kame’eleihiwa, 1992; Kanahele, 1986; Marsella, Oliveira, Plummer, & Crabbe, 1995; Stannard, 1989).

The Independent Nation of Hawai’i

The Independent Nation of Hawai’i is a Kanaka Maoli group that has quickly gained more statewide and national prominence than other groups because of its radical measures (Ambrose, 1994; Burlingame, 1995). Led by Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele, this group is interested is allowing Hawai’ians to return to their lands. This group lives in a private area in Waimanalo (on O’ahu), distinguished by a large carved wooden sign depicting the words Pu’uhonua O Waimanalo, and is known locally as "the Village." Here followers are allowed to live their lives relatively undisturbed by the U.S. government. Members are interested in living their own way, growing their own taro, and spreading the word of sovereignty to those who want to listen. But it has not always been this quiet. Indeed, Bumpy Kanahele and the Independent Nation of Hawai’i have been in the news frequently over the past few years.

Certainly not the first time Kanahele and other Independent Nation members were in the news was in 1978 when they were arrested for taking over a lighthouse at Makapu’u Point, O’ahu after a standoff with officers (Dixon-Strong, 1992; Kame’eleihiwa, 1993). Members had originally filed a heirship deed with the state and then later forcibly overtaken the lighthouse. After a month of occupation they were arrested and removed from the site. Kanahele served a year of jail time, was on parole until 1991, and changed his approach to land reparation afterwards.

In 1992, Independent Nation members and other activists (estimated to be around 150 people) took up refuge at state-owned Makapu’u Beach, claiming the land as a sacred refuge because it contained a heiau (Hosek, 1994; Tongonan, 1993). Tentsites abounded, but after houses began to be constructed within this area, the city refused to manage it anymore. When the city lease ran out, the Board of Land and Natural Resources (of the State of Hawai’i) decided to move in to expel the activists. After negotiating an agreement with Save a Nation Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization associated with the Independent Nation, the state allowed members to relocate to "traditional housing" on two acres of land in Waimanalo (Neil, 1994). On June 15, 1994, the State moved in and arrested 23 remaining Makapu’u protesters, later dropping the charges (Matsunaga, 1994). Fifteen Independent Nation members were among the group.

At the new Waimanalo site, construction was begun and continued through 1994. State employees cut a road into the forest and brought in water, electricity, and portable toilets, and later planted grass (Hosek, 1994). Taro plants and beans were cultivated. Independent Nation members worked building houses and organizing the village. Weekly meetings were held to discuss the future of the Village. Supporters who wished to take up residence in the Village were first scrutinized as to their "fitting into" the daily pace. Visitors and media were allowed to enter and talk to members, providing they followed village rules.

Throughout this construction, Independent Nation members continued to be active in sovereignty issues. Independent Nation State of Hawai’i driver’s licenses and insurance cards were manufactured and dispensed to constituents, with instructions to display them to police officers if detained (Wood, 1994). Participants handed out pamphlets at various areas in and around Waikiki, nonviolently telling the haole tourists to go home. Independent Nation members would talk in public forums with O’ahu and other islands’ residents about sovereignty. Finally, Nation members began to consider additional ways to spread their message. They wanted an efficient, low-cost channel that could allow members to easily get in touch with people who were not able to visit Pu’uhonua O Waimanalo. Because there were high costs involved with public mailings, Nation members instead considered the use of the computer -- an inexpensive medium that would allow anyone with a computer modem and a telephone line the ability to gain access to Independent Nation messages. Members decided that electronic mail would provide this access.

Independent Nation members therefore created a computerized network which utilized electronic mail and allowed communication with parties interested in sovereignty. Within this network, a group of documents were made available for public consumption because Nation members realized that they would not have enough personal time to answer all inquiries. Instead, the network was automated. Computer users contact the electronic mail network, request specific documents, and the requested information is sent back to the users within twenty-four hours.

The documents within the automated network define sovereignty and report upon various steps Independent Nation members are taking to achieve autonomy. One document in particular is of interest because it textualizes a public speech that depicted specific Independent Nation stances on various sovereignty issues during a well-publicized media event. Known as the Proclamation of the Restoration of the Independence of the Sovereign Nation State of Hawai’i, this speech offers much insight into what kind of autonomy from haole invaders the Independent Nation is offering. Further, this speech is the first time that the Independent Nation offers such views in a public forum, and many later public events in Independent Nation history springboard from this Proclamation. Chapter II will explain in more detail the documents in this system and justification for the selection of the Proclamation of Restoration rather than other documents for fantasy theme investigation.

Statement of Problem and its Significance

This thesis is designed to uncover fantasy themes within the Proclamation of Restoration in order to determine what issues the Independent Nation is focusing on in its sovereignty stance and how it is attempting to spread its views to the public. Such a stance may not be readily apparent to all and thus deserves investigation for a more thorough understanding. In essence, this study investigates the rhetoric of the Independent Nation within the Proclamation in order to determine what symbolism emerges for the public: some of the symbolism will be immediately obvious to listeners and readers whereas other aspects will be hidden. The current study’s investigation of this symbolism will ascertain how Proclamation writers display their views within the Proclamation and attempt to get different audiences to adhere to its fantasy themes and act upon these messages.

The significance of this problem is twofold. First, it relates to a current, and practical problem. The Kanaka Maoli movement came to public attention in 1987 and is less than a generation old. As members keep joining various Kanaka Maoli group ranks, it could be expected that this disagreement over self-government, landtrusts, and environmental protection will eventually lead to national as well as worldwide attention. Investigation into the Independent Nation’s Proclamation of Restoration will provide insight into how this group addresses various sovereignty movement issues and crafts messages for its audiences.

Second, this investigation provides an opportunity to better see how communication relates to human interaction through an understanding of messages crafted for different audiences. By analyzing how themes are extended rhetorically to members and nonmembers, researchers can better understand the hidden meanings groups encode into their rhetoric. Such meanings may provide clues about human nature.

Symbolic Convergence as Theory and Fantasy Theme Analysis as Method

In assessing which theories are applicable to uncovering and understanding themes within the Independent Nation speech the Proclamation of Restoration, symbolic convergence theory is relevant. Proponents of symbolic convergence theory argue two points (Bormann, 1972, 1985, 1996; Foss, 1995). First, groups are involved in expressing themselves symbolically to each other. In other words, people in groups attempt to communicate with each other and this communication creates a sort of reality for members. Second, the meanings that members share with each other create convergence, or understanding, between members. This can be caused by members sharing experiences and talking about them.

It is possible to apply the aforementioned prescription of symbolic convergence theory to the Independent Nation’s Proclamation of Restoration. After all, the Independent Nation is a group that is attempting to express itself to its members as well as potential constituents and supporters. Members are trying to share meaning so as to create a shared reality. Further, as this group attempts to craft messages to persuade nonmembers to change their thinking about Native Hawai’ian issues, a methodology to guide investigation into message symbolization should be utilized. A framework that is immediately applicable is fantasy theme analysis.

Fantasy theme analysis, originally posited by Bormann (1972), uses as its unit of analysis the fantasy theme. Fantasy theme is perhaps best described as "a story that accounts for the group’s experience and that is the reality of the participants" (Foss, 1995, p. 123). Although fantasy themes will be analyzed in greater detail in Chapter III, a brief synopsis will be presented here. Fantasy themes perform three functions. First, fantasy themes describe the worldview from the group by dramatistic elements. Dramatistic elements, similar to what goes on in a theatrical play, rely on the use of such items as setting, dramatis personae, action, saga, and rhetorical community as criteria for understanding messages within a rhetorical artifact. Second, fantasy themes relate argument stances with personal experience. Fantasies are necessary for arguments -- a member cannot argue a group issue without accounting for a shared fantasy. In other words, other members must be able to "latch on" to what the arguer is promoting and relate this argument to personal experience. Third, fantasy themes can serve to create group consciousness, maintain group consciousness, and extend group consciousness to outsiders (Rybacki & Rybacki, 1991). Here, members are interested in sharing symbols both within the group and to nonmembers. Fantasy theme criticism examines groups in order to analyze how these aforementioned issues are extended rhetorically. Again, Chapter III will further detail symbolic convergence theory and fantasy theme analysis along these three aforementioned points.

In the current chapter, the history of Hawai’i has been related to a sovereignty group known as the Independent Nation of Hawai’i. An overview of symbolic convergence theory and fantasy theme analysis has been introduced as a way of understanding the rhetorical messages this group is sending to others within one of its electronically available documents the Proclamation of Restoration. Chapter II will further discuss these documents to provide some context to the Independent Nation stance on sovereignty issues and argue the selection of the Proclamation for this study’s analysis.