Pumehana Cabral

Pumehana Cabral Interview


Kaleipumehana discusses a personal praxis which operates within her everyday life and social work, founded and centered upon the continual study of her Native Hawai’ian heritage. Pume distinguishes how engagement with Native Hawai’ian and non-Native Hawai’ian spaces — besides queer and non-queer spaces — requires adept mindfulness to navigating identity politics with the focal point of “seven generations” in mind. Pume, along with many Native Hawai’ian folks, identifies how the Native Hawai’ian concept of “seven generations” mindfully positions the individual to actualize the long-term impacts of their present, everyday actions from a future perspective. This belief explains how daily actions intrinsically produce a ripple effect in any environment or circumstance, especially in consideration of intergenerational healing occurring within the self and in relationship to ancestral, natural, and human life. Throughout this interview, Pumehana identifies personal struggles in navigating kinship spaces with diplomacy and discernment to critically engage with others upon the grounds of cultivating mindfulness for intersectional politics with deep respect to Native Hawai’ian beliefs and sovereignty.

Key Words

  1. Kanaka Maoli – Native Hawaiians (Hawaiian: kānaka ʻōiwi, kānaka maoli and Hawaiʻi maoli) are the Aboriginal Polynesian people of the Hawai’ian Islands or their descendants. Native Hawai’ians trace their ancestry back to the original Polynesian settlers of Hawaiʻi.
  2. Native Hawai’ian Sovereignty – A grassroots political and cultural campaign to gain sovereignty, self-determination and self-governance for Hawaiians of whole or part Native Hawaiian ancestry with an autonomous or independent nation or kingdom.
  3. Kanaka Feminism – Indigenous priority feminism and intersectionality that challenges the patriarchal structure embedded in contemporary Native Hawai’ian identity.
  4. One Hanau – “Hawaiʻi Aloha,” also called “Kuʻu One Hanau,” is a revered anthem of the native Hawaiian people and Hawaiʻi residents alike. To give birth, having a spiritual connection to physical place
  5. Kumulipo – in the Hawaiian religion, the Kumulipo is an 18th-century chant in the Hawaiian language telling a creation story. It also includes a genealogy of the members of Hawaiian royalty and was created in honor of Kalaninuiamamao and passed down orally to his daughter Alapaiwahine.
  6. Hawai’ian Family System (‘Ohana) – Ohana is a Hawaiian word which refers to a person’s extended family, which can include friends and other important social groups. This also includes hanai, a fictive kinship — a non-blood related family relationship — rooted in the idea of adopting someone into their family group.
  7. Aina – Land is not just soil, sand or dirt. The ‘aina is a heart issue for Hawaiians. The very word ‘aina brings forth deep emotion evolved from ancestral times when people lived in nature as an integral part of it.
  8. Mālama Honua – To take care of and protect everything that makes up our world: land, oceans, living beings, our cultures, and our communities.
  9. Pono – Referred to as “righteousness”. The balance that occurs when people and land work together harmoniously.
  10. Ka Lahui – Native Hawai’ian grassroots effort to develop sovereignty as a self-governing people. There are five identifiable elements: a strong and Abiding Faith in the Akua (the Divine), a people with a common culture, a land base, a government structure, an economic base. Native Hawai’ians identify solidarity in developing sovereignty with Native Americans on the continent.


Annotated Bibliography