the contemporary pacific · fall 2003 Russians did construct a fort near the mouth of the Waimea River on the west side of Kaua`i in 1816. Equally undeniably, Native Hawaiians participated in its construction during the period when paramount chief Kaumuali`i asserted sovereignty and independence from Kamehameha. The historical narratives pertaining to Fort Elisabeth detail the agendas, activities, and perspectives of the Russians and other westerners, but they ignore earlier Native Hawaiian historical associations with this place. Peter Mills believes the lack of Native Hawaiian perspectives in these historical narratives must be redressed if we are to develop a more balanced narrative of the history of this structure and its environs and a better understanding of our collective past. The author argues three points. First, by focusing extensively on the few years of Russian association with the fort, historical narratives fail to portray the more than thirty year history of Native Hawaiian association with this structure. Second, an integration of Native Hawaiian narratives is essential if we wish to obtain a more accurate and collective narrative of the history of this structure, its environs, and its historical roots. Fort Elisabeth sits on a sacred landscape on the east
The Contemporary Pacific – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Aug 7, 2003
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