I Ulu I Ka `?ina: Land, the second publication in the Hawai`inui?kea series, tackles the subject of the Kanaka (Hawaiian) connection? to the `?ina (land) through articles, poetry, art, and photography. From the remarkable cover illustration by artist April Drexel to the essays in this volume, there is no mistaking the insistent affirmation that Kanaka are inseparable from the `?ina. This work calls the reader to acknowledge the Kanaka's intimate connection to the islands. The alienation of `?ina from Kanaka so accelerated and intensified over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that there are few today who consciously recognize the enormous harm that has been done physically, emotionally, and spiritually by that separation.The evidence of harm is everywhere: crippled and dysfunctional families, rampant drug and alcohol abuse, disproportionately high incidences of arrest and incarceration, and alarming health and mortality statistics, some of which may be traced to diet and lifestyle, which themselves are traceable to the separation from `?ina. This volume articulates the critical needs that call the Kanaka back to the `?ina and invites the reader to remember the thousands of years that our ancestors walked, named, and planted the land and were themselves planted in it.
Jonathan K. Osorio is a scholar and professor on the faculty at the Hawai`inui?kea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, University of Hawai`i at M?noa. He is an expert on Hawai`i politics and history, music and identity, and indigenous civil rights and social justice. He is also well-known as an activist and advocate for Hawaiian self-determination.