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926232.  Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:23 am Reply with quote

"Kanaka", a term originally applied to native Hawaiians, which could mean in Hawaiian "man", "wild man", or "animal man", or even "free man", was used in Australia as what is now accepted to be a derogatory term for recruited or kidnapped ("blackbirded"*) native peoples from Melanesia to Australia to work as labourers.

"Kanakas" in Canada referred to Hawaiians, and in the US from the Sandwich Islands.

*There is some conjecture whether this actually occurred; it has been considered in Australian history that they were enslaved, but there is debate as to whether they actively sought out employment here. However, the following link containing transcripts of actual letters and other information could refute that.

Sources: Wiki, Rootsweb, Australian Human Rights Commission and the ABC (Television).

1218678.  Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:14 pm Reply with quote

Hawaiians today say "Kanaka maoli" where maoli is cognate with Maori (reasonable, since the Maori came from Hawai'i) to refer to a 'true' Polynesian Hawaiian.


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