The Hawaiian National Museum
This chapter examines the production of national culture and history through the Hawaiian National Museum, an institution developed by Native Hawaiian chiefs and their advisers and the non-Native social and political elite from its inception in 1872 to 1891, when most of its holdings were transferred to the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. The Hawaiian case is remarkable in that it represents a situation in which a Native-led government adopted the institution of the museum as a cultural strategy to resist colonization by a foreign power, impede an internal revolution spearheaded by non-Native Hawaiians, and renew confidence in the Native population. Simultaneously, the Hawaiian National Museum formalized other nationalist discourses, permitting non-Native culture brokers, particularly those of American descent, to herald the progress and civilization they had wrought in the kingdom.
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