Lei and the Cultural Labor of Hospitality
This chapter presents Haunani-Kay Trask's critique on the reduction of Hawaiian culture, lands, and people into attractions, destinations, and entertainers. Attending to the rise of mass tourism in Hawai'i that began in the 1950s and 1960s, she identifies the commodification of the islands and its indigenous culture by corporate tourism as a primary cause of the social problems that shape the lived realities of the islands' native population. Her manifesto strikes two particularly dissonant notes: the first condemns the participation of native Hawaiians in a tourism industry that depends on them as exotic symbols of aloha. The second rejects the gendered and sexualized imagination of the hospitable, welcoming native woman.
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