National Geographic : 2003 Apr
Forum December 2002 While even the most popular stories bring at least a few letters from dis appointed readers,some subjects provoke outright anger. In l)ecember readers blasted John Hare's team of Sahara explorers for their treatment of camels, two of which had to be abandonedand probablydied. Equally irate letters came in response to the PT 109 story, which resurrected plenty of anti-Kennedy sentiment. The Hawaiians The founding premise of Paul Theroux's article seems to be that Hawaii was a peaceful para dise before Europeans showed up. Although it is unquestion able that native culture was sup pressed, a very important part of the story was left out: Hawaiian culture prior to Captain James Cook was not peaceful but filled with warfare and near-constant power struggles of a most violent nature. Hawaiian society was also extremely stratified-it had what we would call today a caste system. Human sacrifice was practiced. I grew up in Hawaii and love the place, but the whole story should be told, not just the pretty parts. DAVID ANDERSON Montrose, Colorado I want to say mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) for your piece about Hawaiians reclaim ing our culture. I attended Kamehameha Schools and have MEMBERSHIP Please call 1-800-NGS-UNE (1-800-647-5463). Special device for the hearing-impaired (TDD) 1-800-548-9797. Online: nationalgeographic.com/ngm AOL Keyword: NatGeoMag the utmost pride to be Hawaiian. The experience allowed me and my fellow classmates to learn our language, culture, and his tory. It was an invaluable oppor tunity because our culture has been raped by the American government, American business men, and Christian missionaries, which left my mother not know ing very much about her culture because the teaching of hula and the speaking of the language were frowned upon. I now live in the Washington, D.C., area and haven't been to Hawaii in over four years. The article made me feel close to home. NAPUAIOKEI.ANI S. WII.EY Alexandria, Virginia Hawaiians shouldn't bite the hand that protects them. Had the Japanese taken the islands during World War II, would there remain enough native culture to preserve? D. HAMPTON Shady Point, Oklahoma I must offer the highest praise for the article on the Hawaiian people. Decades of showbiz stereotypes and tourist industry trivialization have made it diffi cult for Hawaiians to convey the dignity, complexity, and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * APRIL 2003 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY "For the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge." The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C., as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 7,000 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., Presidentand CEO Executive Vice Presidents TF.RRENCE B. ADAMSON TERRY D. GARCIA, Mission Programs IOHN Q. GRIFFIN, President, Magazine Group NINA D. IIOFFMAN, President,Books and School PublishingGroup CHRISTOPHER A. LIEDEL, C(O BOARD OF TRUSTEES GILBERT M. GROSVENOR, Chairman REG MURPI IY, Vice Chairman JOAN ABRA IAMSON, WILLIAM 1..AILEN, MARTHA E. CHURCH, MICHAEL COLLINS, ROGER A. ENRICO, JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., JAMES H. GII..IAM, IR., DANIEI. S. GOI DIN, JOHN )AY ISELIN, JAMES C. KAUTZ, I. WII.IARI) MARRIOII, JR., FLORETI'A DUKES McKENZIE, PATRICK . NOONAN, NATHANIEL P. REED, WILI,IAM K. RE.IY, ROZANNE L,. RIDGWAY, IAMES R. SASSER, B. FRANCIS SAUL II, GERD SCI IUIIE-IIII .IEN TRUSTEES EMERITUS Joe L. Allbritton. Owen R. Anderson. Thomas E. Bolger, Frank Borman, Lewis M. Branscomb, Robert L. Breeden, Lloyd H. Elliott, George M. Elsey, William Graves, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Laurance S. Rockefeller, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Frederick G. Vosburgh RESEARCH AND EXPLORATION COMMITTEE Peter H. Raven, Chairman; John M. Francis, Vice Chairman and Executive Director; Richard S. Williams, Jr., Vice Chairman; Martha E. Church, Scott V. Edwards. William L. Graf, Nancy Knowlton, Dan M. Martin, Scott E. Miller, Jan Nijman. Stuart L. Pmm, Elsa M. Redmond, William H. Schlesinger, Bruce D. Smith. Hans-Dieter Sues, Henry T. Wright,Patrici C. Wright EXPLORERS-IN-RESIDENCE Robert Ballard, Wade Davis. Sylvia Earle, Jane Goodall, Zahi Hawass, Louise Leakey, Meave Leakey, Johan Reinhard, Paul Sereno CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS-IN RESIDENCE Sam Abell, Annie Griffiths Belt, David Doubilet, Karen Kasmauski, Emory Krlstof.,Frans Lanting MISSION PROGRAMS Education Foundation: Barbara A. Chow. Exhibits: Susan S. Norton. Expeditions Council: Rebecca Martin. Geography Bee: Mary Lee Elden. Lectures: P. Andrew van Duym, Gregory A. McGruder School Publishng: Ericka Markman, Sr. Vice President. International: Robert W. Hernandez. Sr. Vice President. Human Resources: Thomas A. Sabt6, Sr. Vice President. Communications: Betty Hudson, Sr. Vice President ADMINISTRATION FMnnce: Michael J. Cole, Controller; H. Gregory Plans, Treasurer. Information Tchnology: Bernard J. Callahan, John D. Nguyen. Law: Susan Borke, Angelo M. Grima. Membership and Marketing Services: Mary P. Donohoe NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VENTURES DENNIS R. PATRICK, Presidentand CEO Television: Timothy T. Kelly President. National Geographc Channel: David Haslingden, President International; Laureon Ong. President, U.S.; Andrew C. Wilk, Exec. Vice President, Programming. natlonalgaeographc.com: Mitchell Praver, President. Maps: William L. Stoehr, President; Allen Carroll. Chief Cartographer. Enterprises: Linda Berkeley, President; Lynn Cutter, Travel; John Dumbacher, Licensing. Finance: Frances A. Marshall Contributions to the National Geographic Society are tax deductible under Section 501(c)31 of the U.S. tax code. Copyright 0 2003 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved. National Geographic and Yellow Border:Registered Trademarks® Marcas Registradas. National Geographic assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Printed in U.S .A.