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

By Darin J. Arsenault, May 1997

Table of Contents



On January 16, 1994, a group of about four hundred supporters and visitors marched from a local oceanfront to ‘Iolani Palace where they gathered for a day of chanting, music, hula, and speeches (Yoshishige, January 17, 1994), including the Proclamation of the Restoration of Hawai’i. This day provided remembrance of Lili’uokalani and the Overthrow of January 16, 1893. Eyewitness accounts, a videotape made by Independent Nation participants, and a copy of the Proclamation of the Restoration of the Independence of the Sovereign Nation State of Hawai’i are the only available evidence of this day’s events.

This chapter depicts the January 16, 1994’s events and explores the Proclamation of Restoration through the method of fantasy theme analysis. In this analysis, elements of dramatis personae, setting, action, saga, and rhetorical community within this text are described and analyzed in order to reveal the underlying nature of the Independent Nation’s stance on self-determination and related issues. First, an explanation of this day’s events is in order.

Known as He Hawai’i Au, January 16, 1994’s proceedings focused on declaring Hawai’ian independence from foreign powers while also serving as a remembrance of Lili’uokalani’s Overthrow and her struggles on behalf of her people. Approximately 400 supporters and visitors, including many non-Hawai’ians and haoles, were present. People were free to visit the inside of the Palace: guided tours were conducted midmorning through midafternoon by Friends of ‘Iolani Palace members, in conjunction with the State of Hawaii. A Palace worker recalled that the outside of the Palace was draped in black ribbons to suggest the somberness of the event, as it is every year during this time on the anniversary of the Overthrow of the Hawai’ian monarchy.

The majority of events, however, were conducted outside the Palace on its grounds, within or near the Coronation Pavilion, which is a large gazebo on the Palace’s southern lawn. Scott Crawford, an Independent Nation spokesperson who was present for the day’s events, noted that tents and tables were set up near the Pavilion to display local and Pacific Islander crafts and clothing such as "Last Star On, First Star Off" T-shirts. There was a relaxed friendly tone to social interaction. Participants could walk around, purchase items, gain information from vendors and representatives, or "talk story" with others. Various styles of dress were worn, ranging from T-shirts proclaiming various ranges of sovereignty and shorts to more ethnic clothing such as mu’mu’s (long dresses without sleeves or a yoke) or grass skirts. Spectators were able to witness speakers and presentations in the Coronation Pavilion by walking around to various areas on Palace grounds that provided visibility. To show support for speakers, spectators sat directly on the Palace grass or on blankets facing the Pavilion. Speeches by Nathan Brown, Kawehi Kanui-Gill, and Bumpy Kanahele decried the past and current plight of Hawai’i and its people and their calls for action were well received by the audience. Bumpy Kanahele is reported (Yoshishige, January 17, 1994) to have said "The Kanaka Maoli proclaim...our self-determination...."

Of the speeches given at this rally, the Proclamation of the Restoration of the Independence of the Sovereign Nation State of Hawai’i is paramount because it represents the Independent Nation’s public stance on sovereignty. According to Scott Crawford, the Proclamation of Restoration was originally drafted by Nathan Brown with help from Professor Francis Boyle, and reviewed and edited by a number of others, including himself. Crawford vouched for the authenticity of the copy available through the automated electronic mail retrieval system of the Independent Nation, and noted that copies are available for public review in various areas of Waimanalo and at different departments of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and Hilo. The Proclamation was read to the audience by Iaukea Bright, a well-known local radio personality and disk jockey. The Proclamation brought the audience to cheers throughout and at the end of its reading. The document itself is five pages long and contains 38 paragraphs and 1,909 words. It is cast in a style that is reminiscent of other declarations of state or nationhood that promote cultural identity and political rights. While there are echoes of legalese, this is not the dominating structure of the message. There is an introduction containing a thesis statement "Today, We, the Kanaka Maoli, proclaim our Right of self-determination..." (p.1), a main body supporting this thesis, a summary, conclusion, and ending. Certain words such as "Kanaka Maoli," "Kupuna," and "Natural Law" are capitalized throughout the written text, perhaps for emphasis or maybe to call the reader’s attention to such terms. This document alludes to historical events; its writers argue that present-day Hawai’ians must remember their past in order to make changes for their future.

The Proclamation of Restoration can be investigated through fantasy theme analysis in order to distinguish which fantasy themes are immediately apparent and which are hidden, and what these elements reveal about the rhetoric of the Proclamation writers, and hence, the stance of the Independent Nation on sovereignty issues. The following sections describe these findings in detail. Page numbers follow findings so that readers may more easily locate the source of each item within the Proclamation (see Appendix B). In order to understand the fantasies taking place, setting is first examined to ascertain the context Proclamation writers want to dramatize.


Setting in fantasy themes refers to where the fantasy takes place, be it in a real or imaginary place. In the Proclamation speech, setting functions within two forms or "scenes:" 1) Hawai’i in general treated as a unification of islands, and 2) as a specific place, namely the ‘Iolani Palace. These forms are relayed to listeners and readers within three setting-related issues: legal claims, cultural ties, and a spiritual relationship with the land. Spiritual connections are further discussed in dramatis personae because such connections between spirit and land and people must be examined from other angles in order to better understand what aspects of the Proclamation’s vision its writers are trying to depict. The first two claims and forms will be discussed in detail.

The writers of the Proclamation remind listeners and readers about the land claims of the Kanaka Maoli under International Law. This initially involves describing the land itself so participants know what comprises Hawai’i’s geographical area (see Figure 1).


Current U.S. State of Hawaii and Proposed Ka Pae ‘Aina O Hawai’i

[Figure 1. omitted in web version]

At the beginning of the Proclamation, Hawai’i is established as a collective of 132 North Pacific islands, shoals, and reefs located in and around Hawai’i, consisting of

...a total land area of 6,425 square miles (16,642 square kilometers), including 1 percent of less than six square miles of land area made up of islands off the shores of the main islands and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, from Kure Atoll in the North to Nihoa in the South, also Palmyra Island, Midway and Wake Islands.... (p. 1)

These Hawai’ian lands are geographically locatable even though they extend "over a vast area of the Pacific Ocean." These lands specifically range from "1,523 miles (2,451 kilometers) southeast to northwest across the Tropic of Cancer between 154 40’ to 178 25’ W longitude and 18 54’ to 28 15’ N latitude." Such specificity enables other nations to recognize exactly where Kanaka Maoli land claims lie. International recognition requires that other nations support international laws of land possession which allow inhabitants control over geopolitical areas in which they live. The Proclamation subscribes to such ideas, pointing out that Hawai’ian lands possess "a 12 mile Territorial Sea," and "the 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone," in conjunction with "generally recognized Standards of International Law" (p. 1). Thus, the Proclamation writers recognize Hawai’i’s global positioning, cartography, square area, and economic and legal areas, and want other nations to note and respect the same. It is possible that writers are demanding large amounts of land ownership beyond what the United States currently controls because the Independent Nation realizes that it will be necessary to negotiate for Kanaka Maoli claims.

After the realm of Hawai’i has been described to the audience, it is not discussed in the remainder of the speech in terms of its separate islands; instead, it is discussed in a global or united sense as "Ka Pae ‘Aina O Hawai’i" or "the Hawaiian Archipelago" (p. 1), although each of these terms is only mentioned once within the whole document. Further, the tone of the speech changes from a tone of legalese to one of more informality. Claims to the Hawai’ian archipelago are henceforth made through phrases such as "our lands and our waters" (p. 1), "these Islands," "our Sovereign Territory" (p.2), "our homeland, which is the homeland of the Kanaka Maoli, now and forever" (p. 5), "our Territory" (p. 5), and "claim all our Land, Natural Wealth, Resources, Minerals, and Waters...originally under communal land tenure" (p. 1). These phrases are less formal than the above legalese so that listeners and readers can better relate to the Proclamation’s message. Terms such as "our lands and our waters" (p. 1) or "these islands" (p. 2) abound throughout the speech, depicting ownership of these areas and providing a specific connection between the ‘aina and the Hawai’ian people. Again, this spiritual connection will be discussed in detail in the upcoming Spirit section of dramatis personae. In summary, the Kanaka Maoli have a legal claim to these lands which are under "illegal occupation" (p.4 ) and want usurpers to "withdraw from our Sovereign Territory immediately" (p. 2). Such legal claims are substantiated by cultural ties to the land.

Cultural ties to the land indicate the close relationship of the Kanaka Maoli to their physical environment. The Kanaka have always lived in Hawai’i "from time immemorial" (p. 1) and were sufficiently able to survive on their own before the haoles invaded. Hawai’ian society was based on a "communal land tenure system" (p. 2). Survival and flourishing of the Native culture depended on respect for the land and understanding of local nature. Such an understanding continues even today as locals cultivate native crops and strive to protect the lands from overfishing, as well as remain connected to their cultural roots. Although technology has helped to advance the Kanaka, they have not forgotten their ties to the land. Even as foreign encroachment and building developments continue to change the face of Hawai’i, past and present Hawai’ians "have continued to exercise, practice, and occupy our lands" (p.3) in ways that reflect the importance of ‘aina and harmony with nature. Natives justify the cultural and political right to "dispose of our natural wealth and resources" (p.1) in a manner that reflects a respect for and relationship to the land. Cultural ties to the land are paramount in the Native Hawai’ians’ arguments for sovereignty.

Near the conclusion of this speech, ‘Iolani Palace is mentioned in reference to the Overthrow of Lili’uokalani as "this very historic and symbolic place, the ‘Iolani Palace, wherein we remember the last days and tragic moments in our history" (p. 4). The Palace is the setting for the Overthrow of Lili’uokalani and the Hawai’ian people. Because the Overthrow is a paramount event in Hawai’ian history, the Palace is an area with great symbolic meaning for many Hawai’ians and serves as a setting for modern ethnic rallies and demonstrations. Kanaka Maoli annually gather at the Palace for culturally significant events such as the January 16, 1893 Overthrow remembrance of Queen Lili’uokalani, a celebration of King Kamehameha Day on July 10, as well as others. The Palace as setting rhetorically functions as a fantasy type or trigger for ethnic Native Hawai’ians: the mention of ‘Iolani Palace is enough to cue involved ethnic spectators about the historical significance of the Overthrow. Further discussion in the upcoming section on Lili’uokalani is warranted because a connection between setting and dramatis personae must be addressed in more detail in the dramatis personae section to make better sense of related issues. Better understanding of such a relationship requires some investigation into aspects of dramatis personae.

Dramatis Personae

Dramatis personae describe not the static personality but the changing persona of the main characters. These characters are depicted as heroes or villains or secondary characters. Dramatis personae can be individuals, groups, organizations, myths, legends, or any item that can be personified. In the Proclamation personae are typified as heroes and villains as well as secondary characters. Spirit, Kanaka Maoli, Kupuna, and Lili’uokalani are depicted as heroes, whereas the American State Government and other invading foreign powers are portrayed as villains. Secondary characters are allusions to past and current media events. All are described in turn.


Spirituality is mentioned throughout the Proclamation speech as a single entity: "one Source," "the Creator," "the Spirit of this Land," (p. 3) and "the Aloha Spirit" (p. 4). This is an interesting turn because historians such as Kame’eleihiwa (1992) and Kanahele (1986) point out that ancient Hawai’ians had many, many gods. Gods represented forces and elements within nature as well as the spiritual world. It was up to the ali’i nui to establish and worship gods who would provide for the people. Kame’eleihiwa, for example, noted that when a god was deemed no longer usable by the leading class, priests, or people, it was discarded for a new one. It is quite possible that the Proclamation writers determined to be all-inclusive in this speech because many of the younger Native Hawai’ians have converted to western religions such as Christianity rather than utilizing various gods of the elders. Christianity came to Hawai’i in the 1800’s by the missionaries who had influence over ali’i nui and was eventually enforced by haole politicians as they gained power. Proclamation writers may have noted this cultural discarding of the old gods for the more western ones. Of course, they may have just combined all gods together into one entity or spirituality in order to promote unity. Regardless, spirituality here for the writers refers to a connection between all things, and this in itself refers back to the older religions of the Native Hawai’ians.

Spirituality in the Proclamation indicates harmony. The writers of the Proclamation point out that spirituality gives all things life, "be they animate or inanimate" (p. 3). Thus, there is a relationship between all things in Hawai’i, be it Kanaka Maoli, the fish in the sea, or the land itself: "Our sacred ties" with all things come from "the Spirit of this Land" (p. 3). The Spirit or Creator is personalized as "Aloha ‘Aina," and defined as "the heart and life of all living things." Such anthropomorphization relates the spiritual aspect of Waters and Earth to the Native Hawai’ian people. This is referred to throughout the speech in phrases such as "The ‘aina is sacred to us. It sustains us" (p. 2), "all things have life, be they animate or inanimate" (p. 3), and "as everything has been derived and created from one Source, the Creator" (p. 3). Proclamation writers connect the land to the Kanaka Maoli through phrases such as "our deep spiritual connection to nature" (p. 2) and "the use, application and practice of the Laws of nature" (p. 3). This connection between land and the Kanaka Maoli are further typified in such terms as "in harmony with natural law" and "sacred ‘aina" (p. 3). The Native Hawai’ians are connected to ‘aina in a spiritual way that requires they understand and respect the laws of nature. This connection requires that the people be taught and reminded about their relationship with spirit and land so that they do not forget these ancient ways and stray. Knowledge about the Creator and the Creator’s connection to the land and people is "taught and handed down from the ...Kupuna" (p. 3).

Besides a connection to all things, spirituality also involves a connection with the past to those who are no longer living. Phrases such as "many have given their lives for us to be here today," "our beloved who have passed in this life and continue standing in spirit beside us here today," and "the protection of our Divine Heritage" (p. 5) refer to such connections. The dead are revered as they become part of the spirituality of the ‘aina and can be remembered with pride, especially those who were involved in cultural maintenance. Regardless, all of these ancestors thus become part of the heritage of the Kanaka Maoli, and should not be forgotten.

Finally, spirituality refers to the present day Kanaka Maoli connection to the Creator and all things in terms of divine guidance. This is reflected in statements such as "undying Spirit of Aloha" (p. 4), Our Sacred Honor (p. 5), and "shall once again bring Peace on Earth for all humanity" (p. 4). Thus, in the Proclamation, a theme of connection of Kanaka Maoli to the Creator and to all things is presented. The Creator will provide guidance to the people so that they can once again regain their harmony with natural law. Regaining harmony is greatly needed by many Native Hawai’ians because it provides a bridge or connection to a historic past where structure existed for all. It is up to the Kanaka Maoli to address spirituality now before it is too late. In order to do this, foreign invaders and occupiers will have to be dealt with because they do not recognize or respect the idea of natural law as it exists for the Hawai’ians. For example, Americans and Europeans do not appear to have a similar reverence for nature. Instead, these cultures are more likely to "tame," "reshape," and "mold" the land to their whims.

This need for guidance in Hawai’ian cultural restoration as well as the physical removal of those who do not respect natural law requires that Kanaka Maoli recognize and deal with their spirituality. Only by dealing with their essence of spirituality will Native Hawai’ians find their true paths. Hence, a closer look at the Native Hawai’ian is in order.

Kanaka Maoli

In the Proclamation many items are utilized by the writers to categorize and define the people of Hawai’i as dramatis personae and a holistic collectivity who believe in sovereignty. These categorizations are positive in tone. They are used to close the gap between the Independent Nation and listeners, and include words such as "The Kanaka Maoli," "We," and "Our." Such words are used repetitively: "Kanaka Maoli" is repeated thirty-one times, "Independent and Sovereign Nation of Hawai’i" occurs fifteen times, "We" thirteen, and "Our" fifty-five. In the document itself, words such as "Kanaka Maoli" and "Independent" are capitalized all the way through the speech perhaps to depict the importance of this race to the speaker and reader. Further, themes reflect the cultural significance of these people based upon their past history and current political views.

The past history of the Kanaka Maoli in Ka Pae ‘Aina O Hawai’i Archipelago is long and proud. The Kanaka Maoli are "the original inhabitants and occupants" (p. 2), "the people" (thirteen repetitions), who "have resided here forever, from time memorial" (p. 1). Although scholars still debate Kanaka origins, it must not be overlooked that these people are recognized worldwide as the original residents and culture of Hawai’i. They are known worldwide for their navigational and fishing skills, their use of dance as a form of communication, and the prowess of their scholars in all fields (Dudley & Agard, 1993; Trask, 1993). But there is more. According to Proclamation writers, the strength of the Kanaka Maoli is found within the ramifications of its culture. The harmonic relationship of the Native Hawai’ians to the land and sea provide a "unique culture" (p. 2) that promotes cultural health for this Nation. It is thus up to the Kanaka Maoli to "restore and protect the customs and teachings" of its people (p. 2) back to some semblance of what it originally was. This includes independence from foreigners. Proclamation writers note that current day Hawai’ians are "the victims of crimes against humanity and genocide" (p. 4), and "are entitled to re-establish our Independent and Sovereign nation" (p. 2). Restoration of culture and self rule involves a return to such customs and norms as a "close relationship to the ‘aina" and a "deep spiritual connection to nature" (p. 2) in order to maintain spiritual and social harmony. These customs and norms depend upon values called upon in the Proclamation such as protection of the people against foreign invaders: "preserve and protect our Cultural Heritage for future generations," "safety and well-being of our people" (p. 3); and a restoration of cultural esteem: "honor, dignity, pride and esteem," "our integrity," "liberty, equality, truth and justice" (p. 4), "freedom and dignity in our homeland" (p. 5), and "Morality of Character, and Humanity" (p. 5). These values indicate an ideal for present and future day Kanaka where issues such as self-determination, land rights, and environmental protection are dealt with by the people without foreign intervention. The undertaking of these values requires a rebuilding of the Kanaka culture because it has been divided by politics and foreign rule.

According to the Proclamation of Restoration, this rebuilding requires that Native Hawai’ians be willing to unite within one collective group interested in common goals of self-determination. The name "Independent and Sovereign Nation of Hawai’i" (p. 2) is used to represent a calling to symbolic action. For Proclamation writers, this name reflects a striving for political and cultural self-determination within conventional human rights per the United Nations Charter, Article 1 (p. 1) and the General Assembly Resolution of 1948 (p. 2). This indicates that the Native Hawai’ians are reaching out past the United States to the international arena, where rules for human rights have been internationally recognized and codified. Present day Kanaka, like any oppressed nation, have the "Right to self-determination" (p. 1), the right to "freely determine our political status" (p. 1), the right to "freely control" our own ends (p. 1), and the right to establish "our national identity" (p. 3). These rights have been denied to the Kanaka by the tyranny of the invading powers. The Kanaka, therefore, represent a people who wish to overthrow the yoke of oppression and attain freedom of their own choosing. The Kanaka of the future are exemplified by Proclamation writers through phrases such as "fully restored and functional" (p. 5), "to restore our Independent and Sovereign Nation," and "our commitment will continue" (p. 4), all of which represent future aspects of Hawai’i because sovereignty obviously will not be completely achieved on this Proclamation day. The Proclamation writers thus envision a culture that will actively work to reclaim its lost heritage. Such statements rhetorically link together symbolic themes of past, present, and future in such a way that the listener or reader can easily understand. For the Native Hawai’ian, this embodies cultural awareness and a call for action.

There are other heroic dramatis personae that the spectator must also understand in order to get the big picture of the sovereignty movement as depicted by the Proclamation. These groups and characters that are elements of, or related to, the Kanaka Maoli such as the Kupuna is discussed next.


Kupuna are spiritual and political leaders within the Kanaka Maoli. They are usually older members of each community or ‘ohana who provide guidance and mentoring to other members and the keikis (children). Kupuna are collectively discussed in different parts of the Proclamation in settings of the present, future, and past. Kupuna today "embody within our governmental structure traditional customs and culture" (p. 2). This means that the Kupuna provide a link to the past in remembrance of the old customs. Proclamation writers envision the Kupuna as providing a gateway to the future, "to preserve and to forevermore cultivate the Heritage and Culture of the Kanaka Maoli" (p. 5). More specifically, the Proclamation writers note that in the future, members of the Independent Nation will:

...respectfully continue to seek the guidance and consultation of our Kupuna, be it Spiritually, Mentally, Physically, Socially, or Politically, in consultation and decisions that affect our lives, to restore and protect the customs and teachings of our culture, language and knowledge from being exploited, desecrated and driven to eventual extinction.... (p. 2)

This in itself indicates the importance of the Kupuna to the modern day Native Hawai’ians. The Kupuna in many ways affect the peoples’ lives and choices. Kupuna decisions are made in order to maintain and continue the Kanaka culture and keep it from being destroyed by invaders. The current loss of cultural identity for the Kanaka must be overcome.

To retain cultural identity, Kupuna must get together continually to discuss decisions and be sure that they consistently share the same cultural vision. The ‘Aha Kuka O Na Kupuna (interpreted as "Council of Elders," p. 2) is thus set up by the Independent Nation as a connection between the current time and the future, so that customs can be preserved and guidance provided for all. Such a Council will facilitate "many decisions" through its consultation, "provide measures of development," and "will serve as the provisional Government of the Independent and Sovereign Nation of Hawai’i" (p. 2) until a more permanent government can be formed. This suggests that ‘Aha Kuka O Na Kupuna is a temporary measure until further decisions are made about how the new government will be structured. Regardless, the use of a Kupuna Council in decision-making is not a completely new idea to the listener and reader who is familiar with Hawai’ian history because it is dependent upon Hawai’ian cultural interpretation of the Kupuna’s role as guide and mentor in the past.

In the past, Kupuna "were highly regarded and respected as the Keepers of Wisdom and Knowledge" (p. 2). Such a statement sets a positive tone to these members of the Kanaka Maoli, framing them as heroes who have lasted through the ages and reminding respondents about the importance of Hawaiian history. Statements such as "Kupuna were always consulted to maintain order and ho’oponopono" (p. 2) help establish credibility as well as authority. Ho’oponopono means to provide direction and structure (Pukui and Elbert, 1992, p. 130). Such a value indicates the importance of structure to Proclamation writers. Previous generations of Native Hawai’ians relied upon their Kupuna as providers of structure and direction for each ‘ohana. Kupuna from the past are memorialized as "ancient wise ones" and "beloved" (p. 3), which suggests fond memories and respect for elders. Kupuna influence has lasted through "generations of teachings" (p. 2). The Proclamation thus depicts the Kupuna of the past to be strong willed people who maintained cultural values, provided guidance and mentoring, and were respected by the people. The role positioning of the Kupuna has been beneficial to the cultural maintenance of the Kanaka Maoli and therefore must be continued in order for these people to survive and flourish. Some modern day Kupuna such as Bumpy Kanahele and Haunani-Kay Trask are revered for the sacrifices they have made and the positions they take on self-determination. But Proclamation writers do not focus on or even mention specific modern day Kupuna. Instead, they rely on images of the past. Rather than point out several important leaders of the past, they concentrate upon only one. The specific example of past Kupuna is Lili’uokalani.


In the Proclamation, Lili’uokalani is presented as a specific heroine for the Kanaka Maoli and its supporters. She is especially remembered in the Proclamation for her actions on January 17, 1893 (p. 1). This was the day when Lili’uokalani released the monarchy to the haole invaders so as to prevent bloodshed. This event is a landmark in Hawai’ian history and Lili’uokalani is always central to the events. She was the last Hawai’ian monarch. She is not slighted or snubbed by Proclamation writers for her actions; the Proclamation instead refers to her as "beloved Kupuna and Queen" (p. 3) because of her position and authority in the Hawai’ian past, as well as peoples’ general empathy toward her plight and fortitude. She was involved in the maintenance of Kanaka culture: terms such as "her commitment to restore the rights of our people," "dedicated endurance against foreign powers," and "never faltered" provide a connection between Lili’uokalani and her people, a connection that is remembered as present day Hawai’ians face political and cultural issues that are being controlled by haole interests. Lili’uokalani can best be remembered for her "Love of her people" (p. 3), especially during her decision making process of whether to give up the Throne and how to avoid bloodshed of her subjects.

The image of Lili’uokalani as presented within the Proclamation is a positive one. The overall tone and attention paid to Lili’uokalani in the Proclamation sets her up as more than just a prime example of a Kupuna to be remembered. She is a great Kupuna of the past who must not be forgotten because of her dedication to the Kanaka Maoli culture. She showed dignity in the face of armed threats and never wavered in her convictions that the Hawai’ian nation must be restored. After relinquishing the throne, she peacefully attempted to regain power from the Americans by appealing to President Cleveland’s investigation into the Overthrow (Dudley & Agard, 1993), in the belief that the United States would do what was right and honorable rather than what was greedy and dishonorable. The investigator, James H. Blount, reported the Overthrow accurately back to the President and called for restoration of the Monarchy, but Cleveland turned the decision of what to do with Hawai’i over to Congress. Because the political and economic situation was getting worse, out of desperation, with the aid of other Hawai’ians, Lili’uokalani tried to regain the throne on January 6, 1895 through force but was rebuffed. With her quickly diminishing royal power she pardoned her insurrectionist supporters who were arrested so that they would not be put to death and was consequently forced to relinquish her claims to the throne by the Americans. Hawai’ian control had now passed officially to the Americans. On January 16, 1895 Lili’uokalani was tried and convicted of treason against "the state" by the Americans and placed under house arrest in ‘Iolani Palace. She was confined to an upstairs bedroom until she was released eight months later. Thus Lili’uokalani’s emergence as a heroine for her people transcends time. Because she is so revered her name is recognized by Native Hawai’ians within or out of context with the Overthrow. In this way, Lili’uokalani becomes a trigger or fantasy type for Proclamation writers. Her name is popularly recognized and a full recounting of the Overthrow is not needed to explain her relationship and position in it whenever she is mentioned.

Although Lili’uokalani’s symbolization in the Proclamation is immediately understandable, investigation cannot stop here. It is also necessary to look into the darker aspects of the Overthrow and its consequences for today within the Proclamation to better understand what villains are symbolized and how they fit into the scenario. An analysis of the Proclamation’s vilification of the invaders and occupiers indicates unwanted foreigners within recent Hawai’ian history.


Besides heroes, the Proclamation of Restoration also depicts villains: the invaders and the occupiers. These villains are not specifically named in the document, but the wording is indicative as to which type of villain is being discussed. Villains exist in different time periods. Past villains represent two time periods; the first documented case of meeting between Kanaka Maoli and the haole Cook: "first European invasion of 1778," (p. 2), and "January 17, 1893" (p. 1), which is the date of the "illegal overthrow, invasion and occupation of" Hawai’i (p. 2). The latter time period is especially "a dark chapter" to Proclamation writers, "unimaginable to the conscience of humanity and to all human life as a whole" (p. 3). It appears as though Proclamation writers are attempting to convince the greater international world of the villainy of the westerners, particularly the United States, in Hawai’i. These two time periods involve times of "historical injustices and abuse" (p. 3), caused by

...foreign powers...who committed such acts of aggression and force, threats of fear and imprisonment, knowingly in violation of numerous treaties, agreements and principles of international customs and law.... (p. 3)

These invaders and occupiers are hence depicted as foreigners who knew they were committing wrong, and who have continued this course of action into the present, by "denying us our inalienable rights to self determination, Independence and Sovereignty" (p. 3). Past cases of "subjection, domination and exploitation by the forces of the occupying foreign powers" continue even now (p. 3).

Current villains are depicted in no better terms. These are "foreign military occupation forces" (p. 2), bent on "invasion," who "continue to occupy, exploit and destroy our way of life" (p. 3). These "alien" cultures are "destructive forces" (p. 3) against "our political independence" (p. 4). This kind of strong wording indicates great anger by Proclamation writers over the current state of Native Hawai’ian affairs in Hawai’i. Such "continued interference of our rights" is much more than "illegal occupation" (p. 4); it is the show of "force and acts of aggression" (p. 5), as well as "acts of oppression, subjugation and fear" (p. 4), culminating in a separation of an indigenous people and their land in violation of "International Law" (p. 3). It becomes clear that the writers are interested in changing the future by pleading to the international world to help shame the United States into changing its current policies in Hawai’i. Spectators can certainly see that past injustices have led to current ones, and unless the present is changed now the future will be no better for the Kanaka Maoli. These "unlawful acts, injustice and complicity, violence and terrorism" (p. 4) by those who "disregard the Principles and Rule of the Law of Nations" (p. 5) must be stopped.

Disregard for international law is rampant. Not only is the United States at fault for retaining control over Hawai’i, but developers from all around the world strive for possession and construction of buildings, resorts, and villages in the guise of recognition of Hawai’ian culture. These villains must be prevented from developing the land for their own capitalistic gain: "protect our sacred ‘aina from such invasion and exploitation by the forces of the occupying foreign powers" (p. 3). If the future continues unchecked, "devastation of extinction" (p. 3) of the Kanaka Maoli and their culture looms, because "any colonial regime would cause the destruction and extinction of our Culture and People" (p. 5). Thus listeners and readers are beseeched to support the Kupuna and the Independent Nation against such villains in order to help save the Kanaka Maoli from "being exploited, desecrated and driven to eventual extinction" (p. 3). This involves the expulsion of American military forces, developers, politicians, and other remnants of the capitalist system if this is what the collective Kanaka Maoli decide. These claims will be examined in detail in Chapter V. Secondary characters are examined next as the final members of the dramatis personae.

Secondary Characters

Secondary characters are minor characters in the sense that they are not as prevalent or important to the fantasy as the heroes and villains. In the Proclamation of Restoration, secondary characters are not specifically named; the document instead alludes to them. There are two secondary character statements on page 4 of this document: "If not for those who have continued the struggle for peace, justice and honor, our beloved who have passed in this life and continue standing in spirit beside us here today," and

"If not for those who have sacrificed their families and lives, who have desired to go to prison rather than be forced to adhere to unjust principles and acts, and who have gone through the crossroads of temptation." This is an interesting interpretation of secondary characters. It honors the dead who did not live to see their aspirations of Kanaka independence come true.

Each statement is made as an allusion to personal experience and media events. Often Native Hawai’ians who are involved in the sovereignty movement know others who participate. Sometimes these other participants are friends or family members who have attended sovereignty events and experienced similar feelings about such gatherings, whereas at other times one may recognize a member who is a stranger from media accounts. In this way secondary characters are utilized by Proclamation writers to relate to those people who make up the bulwarks of the sovereignty movement. Secondary characters thus become everyone involved in the sovereignty movement, no matter how important or unimportant they are considered by others. What is important here is that Native Hawai’ians who are alive attempt to affirm their beliefs in the idea of sovereignty and reclaiming political self-determination. The dead are also important. Those who were involved in the Hawai’ian culture and have passed on are remembered for their beliefs and actions and their spirits provide comfort for modern day Kanaka. Thus, "standing in spirit beside us today" refers to the connection between Kanaka and spirituality, as well as implying that the dead become revered for their donations to the cause of sovereignty and self-determination. In this way the dead are rewarded for their efforts by their remembrance. This shows respect for those who were involved in the cause.

The second statement "If not for those who have sacrificed their families and lives..." is more specific than the first in which it is more easily connected to recent media events. The first two clauses can be referred to past as well as current media events, such as the state recently removing "squatters" from Makapu’u Point or Bumpy Kanahele’s acts of civil disobedience. The squatters as well as Kanahele represent people who were willing to sacrifice for their commitments rather than go along with the status quo. Kanahele is certainly a case in point here, as he has been visibly involved in legal and political issues that have resulted in his incarceration. A casual survey done by this author in 1994 showed that 90 out of 96 local and native respondents knew who Kanahele was because of his participation in civil disobedient acts such as Makapu’u.

The clause "those who have gone through the crossroads of temptations" refers to Hawai’ians and non-Hawai’ians who have been able to help the culture without profiting off it. It is publicly known in Hawai’i that haoles as well as some Natives have capitalized upon various international ideals of Hawaiiana. This surely becomes a temptation to those who have money or land at their disposal, be they Native or kama’aina (those who know the ins and outs of Hawai’ian culture). Even cash poor Native Hawai’ians can be tempted to sell out to foreign interests so that they can live similarly to wealthy haoles. Proclamation writers thus show support for those who resist the capitalistic urges of western civilization because this resistance is more in line with the Hawai’ian spirit and value system espoused by the ancients and subscribed by the modern Kupuna. It is interesting that the Proclamation writers did not use specific names of secondary characters. For example, Kanahele could easily have been named in the Proclamation as one who was intent on making change in society, or perhaps as an emerging leader in the sovereignty movement. Perhaps the writers believed that self-determination is a larger issue than any person, and to point out specific people would be detrimental to the impact of the speech. Kanahele’s actions can be approved by some but condemned by others, and to discuss him in this type of formal document could sidetrack listeners away from main arguments. Those who did not agree with Kanahele’s Makapu’u involvement can begin to think about that incident if Kanahele’s name was brought up rather than attending to and considering the Proclamation’s ideas of self-determination.

Now that setting and dramatis personae have been described within the context of the Proclamation, aspects of action and saga must be analyzed to better understand what is happening now and how it is connected to the past, and what such events reveal about the Independent Nation. A vision is beginning to emerge within the Proclamation of a people intent on changing the destructive ways of modern Hawai’i to one of Kanaka structure and pono. An understanding of action and saga gives a clearer glimpse of what is happening to the Independent Nation within the context of sovereignty and what themes appear. The next sections address these points.


Action in fantasy themes depicts what is happening in the drama. Knowing what action is taking place gives listeners and readers an understanding in what the Independent Nation is involved. Chapter II’s depiction of Bumpy Kanahele’s imprisonment as a political prisoner is an example of action. In the current speech, action involves listeners taking action by supporting Independent Nation stances on sovereignty.

Based upon the "illegal overthrow, invasion and occupation" (p. 2), and the "illegal occupation" (p. 4), the future of the Kanaka Maoli involves, according to Proclamation writers, the people making a change in the current status quo so that "the Aloha Spirit is once again fully restored" (p. 4). The writers point out that members must "unite and act this day" (p. 5), and "share the same commitment" (p. 3), in order to "restore our Independent and Sovereign Nation of Hawai’i" (p. 4). This kind of action requires Native Hawai’ians to get together as a collectivity to act. Such a commitment is based upon

...the duty and obligation of every Kanaka Maoli, young and old, to stand ready to restore and defend our national rights, territorial integrity and independence, without prejudice, and reject and resist unlawful acts, injustice and complicity, violence and terrorism, against our political independence, and do summarily reject such use of violence and force against the territorial integrity of other peaceful states.... (p. 4)

In this segment, duty and obligation are posed as deterministic for listeners and readers: active support for the Kanaka Maoli Independent Nation is not a choice nor a responsibility -it is required. Whereas choice and responsibility allow the individual to decide what he or she wants, duty requires the following of another’s orders. Although not alluded to in this document, duty is quite similar to the attitude many North Americans had in World War I. In an unrelated discourse, Peck (1978) argues convincingly that duty is a decision people make to change bad life events and attain better living. For Peck, duty is comprised of delay of self gratification, assumption of responsibility, dedication to truth or reality, and balancing. This philosophy appears to hold true for Proclamation writers. Most of the Kanaka Maoli have been able to delay self gratification by denying the crossroads of temptation. The people already see the truth about how detrimental the onslaught of capitalism has been to their way of life. Now is the time to assume responsibility. One must put aside his or her fears and support the Independent Nation as representative of the people. Showing support to the Independent Nation is action in which one can put aside the injustices of the past and present temporarily to unify. Unification will help heal the injustices, just as will continued action towards self determination and land control. The Independent Nation will not be aggressive to other peaceful nations, but will show them honor and respect as warranted in the Spirit of Aloha. In this way balance or harmony will again be restored. Thus, no matter how difficult the past has been to the Kanaka Maoli, all "have the duty to heal our wounds and restore our integrity" (p. 4) within a collective of active solidarity. Again, the word duty is used, to indicate that there is no choice, that there should be no question; if one is a member of the Kanaka Maoli, he or she should be ready to support an Independent Nation. Therefore, these ideas of duty are present themes of action and involve connection to the previously discussed dramatis personae.

The Proclamation writers mandate forms of resistance contrary to what are thought to be illegal occupations and cultural domination. The rhetors provide spectators with connections between different time periods to link the importance of past, present, and future in these action themes so the audience is swayed to act. Connection between past and present is indicated in a statement such as "those of us who have awaited this day" (p. 4): this indicates that there have been people in the past as well as the present who have been interested in the people coming together to make change. Attending He Hawai’i Au and listening to the Proclamation thus promotes unity through a coming together of people for a common cause. This is at the very least a step in the right direction. Other connections are also made. Present and future themes of action are tied together because changes that are made in the present will also have to stand in the future. These changes involve the people getting together in spirit to "affirm our commitment to the protection of our Divine Heritage" (p. 5); politically and legally: "to declare and proclaim that the Independent and Sovereign Nation of Hawai’i, is free and absolved from any other political connection with any other Nation State" (p. 5) and to "to arise in the uniting of freedom and dignity in our homeland" (p. 5); physically and financially: "mutually agree and pledge our Lives, Our Fortunes..." (p. 5). In order to "restore our Independent and Sovereign Nation of Hawai’i" (p. 4), a change in the present will have to be made in the way things are done now so that the future will be affected. For example, land, self-determination, and environmental protection are all issues requiring action now as well as in the future, so as "to protect our sacred aina from such invasion and exploitation, to liberate it from alien destructive forces, and preserve and protect our Cultural Heritage for future generations (p. 3). In a nutshell, by tying present themes of action to future ones, the writers spin a thread of continuity of issues which listeners and readers must act on now as well as in the future. Such connections in action themes involve global connection between action and dramatis personae. However, these connections, or even the themes of action themselves, do not entirely explain the story of the Kanaka Maoli. Saga must be first be examined to see how the story of the Kanaka Maoli is presented throughout its history.


Saga depicts the ongoing story. Members know when the drama starts and where it ends, where a new adventure begins and ends, and how it continues. Certain words and phrases in the Proclamation represent the ongoing saga of the Independent Nation and the Kanaka Maoli, be it through attempts to gain legitimacy for the movement, persuade listeners and readers to act, or what to expect in the future of the Kanaka Maoli once change has been instituted. The saga of the Kanaka Maoli and the Independent Nation is woven into this fabric as a coming together of the people toward a common set of goals: self determination, the return of and control of land, and environmental protection. This is a saga of paradise that reflects a people’s living in conformance with natural law. This is also a saga of paradise that has been jeopardized by the Kanaka Maoli’s age old belief that stronger forces will be honorable in their dealings with weaker ones. Lili’uokalani, for example, believed that the treachery of the Hawaiian League would be overcome when the United States Government was informed of its greed. Instead, the Hawai’ians lost their political autonomy as their land was annexed. Thus, these current and future issues are based upon the injustices of the past and present occupiers who forever changed the Hawai’ian way of life.

The saga of the Kanaka Maoli is like a book. The earlier chapters of the Kanaka Maoli in Hawai’i was that of a people who have "resided here forever" (p. 1) in a "highly organized self-sufficient" (p. 3) social system, in accordance with natural law. Although there were many wars and raids in early Hawai’i, the rulers and the people managed to live in harmony with nature. Then the white man came and changed everything. In only twenty years after the first white man stepped ashore, Kamehameha I eventually united the islands in the battle of Nu’uanu Pali in 1795--with haole weapons (Dudley & Agard, 1993). Chapters that follow suggest a quickly gathering storm. Eventually the invaders overthrew the people and Lili’uokalani. This was thus an especially "dark chapter" (p. 3) for the Kanaka Maoli, and it has continued currently to the point of no return. Native Hawai’ians say "Enough." The Kanaka Maoli must henceforth unite towards the future as an Independent Nation in control of its destiny. This is their duty. Further, statements such as "our commitment will continue" (p. 4) and the "revival of the culture of our Independent and Sovereign Nation of Hawai’i" (p. 4) indicate the continuing of the saga. In other words, there is a past, a present, and a future of the Kanaka Maoli, as long as the people unite into an Independent Nation and change the current Hawai’i into that of an independent and self-sustaining nation. If the people do not unite the saga, sadly, will end. There will be an eventual extinction of a race in the face of westward expansion and Manifest Destiny.

Saga and action are therefore mixed together to form a continuum where the past, present, and future of Hawai’i are connected into an argument that shows injustice towards the Kanaka Maoli that only direct action will change. Rhetorical community is the last item of fantasy theme to be considered before integration of separate parts into a gestalt is possible.

Rhetorical Community

As noted in Chapter III, rhetorical community refers to the "community at large" who are paying attention to a rhetorical event and its symbolic messages. The Proclamation attempts to draw listeners and readers in by its form and content. The form of the Proclamation consists of a speech that is short enough to keep the attention of the spectator. For the reader, capitalization and repetition of key words and ideas helps guide attention.

The content is designed by the Proclamation writers in ways that appeal to the rhetorical community and compel listeners to act. There are three communities represented at the Proclamation: the Kanaka Maoli and hapu-Hawai’ians, the haoles who live in Hawai’i, and the political structure such as the United States of America and the State of Hawaii with its constituents. The message is aimed centrally at the Native Hawai’ians so that they will get involved. Its authors are attempting to attract those who are interested in self-determination for Hawai’ians. Rather than create defensiveness by pointing out specifically which groups are at fault in Hawai’i, the writers allow the villains to remain ambiguous enough that potential recruits to the Native Hawai’ian cause will not be slighted. Further, words such as "our" and "us" and "we" are used to connote connection between Proclamation writers and listeners, whether they are Kanaka Maoli, non-Native Hawai’ians, or haoles. Although the Proclamation was written primarily towards Kanaka Maoli and hapu-Hawai’ians, it must be expected that there will be supporters from other races and ethnicities who are empathic or sympathetic towards Native issues. The idea of support is important for Proclamation writers to address because there will be many non-Hawai’ians who wonder what their roles will be in the new Nation. The writers, therefore, point out that

...the Independent and Sovereign Nation of Hawai’i will establish procedures for according citizenship by means of naturalization to all people who are habitual residents of Hawai’i as of today’s date.... (p. 2).

This at the very least suggests that more thinking and planning on this issue will be condoned by Independent Nation leaders so that non-Hawai’ians who live on the islands will be considered for citizenship in the new Nation. This also suggests that the decision of who is or who is not allowed citizenship will lie within Native Hawai’ian control. It must be pointed out that not all haole islanders are so capitalistic that they would ignore the Native Hawai’ian message: there are at least some haole supporters who realize the importance of the Proclamation within the context of the Hawai’ian scope. Such a consideration of non-Hawai’ians on the part of the Proclamation writers is logical because Native Hawai’ians will need to rely on some island support in order to promote their message in Hawai’i. Therefore, such words and phrases are thus used to draw the listener to accept Proclamation messages no matter what his or her race, nationality, or ethnicity. The tone of the message is positive rather than negative; hopeful rather than condemning. Instead of isolating potential supporters the writers push for solidarity.

In a more global sense, arguments are based upon setting, dramatis personae, action, and saga in such a manner that allows the rhetorical communities to accept the messages without feeling slighted. The foreign powers ruling within Hawai’i are obviously the United States of America and the State Government of Hawaii. Unless one strongly identifies with foreign powers who "continue to occupy, exploit, and destroy our way of life" (p. 3), he or she should be willing to accept the Proclamation based upon its reasoning and emotional appeals. Such wording is not altogether negative. There are many nationalistic Americans in the Islands who believe in capitalism and Manifest Destiny, but it is obviously hoped for in the Proclamation that there will be some potential detractors who respect the Hawai’ian ways even though they agree with American values. Again it must be pointed out that the Proclamation is not just directed at Kanaka Maoli, but it is directed at all, in a form that urges all listeners and readers to get involved. Such a form requires that those involved understand the connections between fantasy themes.

In summary, elements of setting, dramatis personae, action, saga, and rhetorical community exist within the Proclamation of Restoration and can be separated into categorizations to facilitate understanding. Some of these themes were obvious whereas others were hidden. This chapter discerned between different aspects of fantasy themes in order to determine what messages Proclamation writers crafted for participants. Chapter V will recombine these elements into a rhetorical vision that depicts specific images gleaned from these unified parts and explain how these images are made to relate to its audiences per an analysis of values.