Ma'i Lepera: A History of Leprosy in Nineteenth-Century by Kerri A. Inglis

By Kerri A. Inglis

Ma‘i Lepera makes an attempt to recuperate Hawaiian voices at an important second in Hawai‘i’s historical past. It takes an remarkable examine the Hansen’s ailment outbreak (1865–1900) virtually solely from the viewpoint of “patients,” 90 percentage of whom have been Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian). utilizing conventional and nontraditional assets, released and unpublished, it tells the tale of a disorder, a society’s response to it, and the results of the event for Hawai‘i and its people.

Over a span of thirty-four years greater than 5 thousand humans have been despatched to a leprosy payment at the distant peninsula in north Moloka‘i often often called Makanalua. Their tale has seldom been informed regardless of the loads of letters they wrote to households, acquaintances, and the Board of health and wellbeing, in addition to to Hawaiian-language newspapers, detailing their matters on the cost as they struggled to hold their humanity within the face of ma‘i lepera. Many remained politically lively and, from time to time, defiant, resisting authority and not easy guidelines. up to they suffered, the Kānaka Maoli of Makanalua proven new bonds and cared for each other in ways in which were principally missed in well known histories describing leprosy in Hawai‘i.

Although Ma‘i Lepera is essentially a social heritage of ailment and drugs, it bargains compelling facts of ways leprosy and its remedy altered Hawaiian perceptions and identities. It replaced how Kānaka Maoli seen themselves: via the tip of the 19th century, the “diseased” had develop into a cultural “other” to the fit Hawaiian. furthermore, it strengthened colonial ideology and furthered using either biomedical practices and sickness as instruments of colonization.

Ma‘i Lepera can be of important curiosity to scholars and students of Hawai‘i and clinical background and ancient and scientific anthropology. Given its obtainable type, this publication also will attract normal readers who desire to comprehend extra in regards to the Kānaka Maoli who reduced in size leprosy—their connectedness to every one other, their households, their islands, and their nation—and how leprosy got here to impact these connections and their lives.

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Extra info for Ma'i Lepera: A History of Leprosy in Nineteenth-Century Hawai'i

Example text

They are not eaten by caterpillars and cut worms. The number of animals from Kalaupapa to Waikolu are over a hundred, cattle, 28 chapter 1 horses, donkeys, and mules. They do not swallow these things because there is much grass. . Many sweet potatoes are being planted now, four or five patches to each man. . Kalaupapa is the best in all the islands for good prices and fast work. 56 But the ships that came to Kalawao and Kalaupapa from the mid-1860s onward would not be coming for ‘uala, but rather to bring patients to the peninsula.

Waikolu valley, courtesy Hawai‘i State Archives a land and a disease set apart 39 tion, its cultural development, and the later establishment of leprosy settlements, first at Kalawao and then at Kalaupapa. 87 Located on the east side of the peninsula, Kalawao receives a lot of rain, but the high pali above blocks it from the sun’s rising and setting. By 1866, when the first patients arrived, there were few kama‘āina living at Kalawao. Some were living in Waikolu, and those who had remained on the peninsula were mainly living at Kalaupapa, on the western side of the peninsula.

The impact of this encounter (physical, social, cultural, economic, political) would be overwhelming, with far-reaching consequences still evident in contemporary Hawai‘i. By 1865, when leprosy was of great concern to the Kingdom of Hawai‘i and to the Board of Health, Kānaka Maoli had already suffered greatly at the hands of many diseases brought by foreigners—explorers, traders, whalers, and settlers—to the Hawaiian Islands. Captain Cook and his men introduced venereal diseases and tuberculosis to Hawai‘i in 1778, and from that moment onward, Native Hawaiians would be assaulted again and again by a myriad of epidemics.

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