Island Queens and Mission Wives
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte
In the late eighteenth century, Hawai'i's ruling elite employed sophisticated methods for resisting foreign intrusion. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, American missionaries had gained a foothold in the islands. Jennifer Thigpen explains this important shift by focusing on two groups of women: missionary wives and high-ranking Hawaiian women. Examining the enduring and personal exchange between these groups, Thigpen argues that women's relationships became vital to building and maintaining the diplomatic and political alliances that ultimately shaped the islands' political future. Male missionaries' early attempts to Christianize the Hawaiian people were based on racial and gender ideologies brought with them from the mainland, and they did not comprehend the authority of Hawaiian chiefly women in social, political, cultural, and religious matters. It was not until missionary wives and powerful Hawaiian women developed relationships shaped by Hawaiian values and traditions--which situated Americans as guests of their beneficent hosts--that missionaries successfully introduced Christian religious and cultural values.
Incisively written and meticulously researched, Thigpen's book sheds new light on American and Hawaiian women's relationships, illustrating how they ultimately provided a foundation for American power in the Pacific and hastened the colonization of the Hawaiian nation.
Gender and conversion, Sandwich Islands Mission, Women in the American mission, Foreign Presence in Hawai‘i 18th century, American foreign mission movement, American missionary wives, Hawaiian-Missionary interaction—19th century, Hawaiian History 19th century, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, US expansion—19th century, Kapi‘olani, Women in missionary work—United States—19th century, Women missionaries, Missions—Hawai‘i, kuhina nui, Gender and mission work, US Foreign Relations—19th century, gift giving, Ka‘ahumanu, Gender and empire, US expansion—Hawai‘i, Keōpūolani, Women and the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Hawaiian-missionary relations, Foreign Presence in Hawai‘i 19th century, Pacific History, Women’s role in the foreign mission movement, Hawaiian History 18th century, Western clothing—19th century, Gender and diplomacy, American foreign mission movement—19th century