Kirsten  Vacca

Reconstructing Daily Life in Early Hawaiian Communities

This project investigates archaeologically the structure of the house complexes that were constructed between the 15th and 17th centuries in the Kaupō district on the island of Maui, Hawai‘i in order to better understand the daily life of early Hawaiians. The history of colonialism in the Hawaiian Islands created a perception of Hawaiian identity that has continued to affect the understanding of the history of the region. Through the use of archaeological evidence, I aim to uncover the structuring of gendered identity through the material remains of everyday practice. Understanding the complexity and intersectionality of gender in early Hawai‘i will assist with the deconstruction of the racialized image projected onto Hawaiians by the European colonial powers. It is my aim for the resulting research to work toward ending erasures within the archaeological literature with regards to Hawaiian women and reconnecting descendant groups with their history.