Hawaiian Studies

Program Mission

Provide an opportunity for students to gain an understanding and knowledge of the host culture of Hawai‘i, the Native Hawaiian language, culture and values.

Program Description

The Hawaiian Studies Associate in Arts will provide pathways, support, and recognition for students who are pursuing an AA at Honolulu Community College which is a two-year liberal arts degree that provides students with, 1) skills and perspectives fundamental to undertaking higher education; and, 2) a broad exposure to diff erent domains of academic knowledge. This program will also ensure that students will enter a baccalaureate Hawaiian Studies program with the skills and knowledge required to promote success in the Hawaiian Studies major. The AA in Hawaiian Studies has comparable foundation, and diversification requirements to the Honolulu CC AA in Liberal Arts. It includes an expanded set of graduation requirements that, 1) provides students with a foundational introduction to the study of Hawaiian knowledge, cultural understanding, and values through exposure to origins, language, environment, craft, history, politics and culture; and, 2) supports the development and training of students toward the use of Hawaiian based knowledge and methods in the workforce and other areas of inquiry such as science, humanities, the arts, social sciences, and other professional endeavors.

Program Prerequisites

ENG 19 and/or ENG 21, or ESL 13 & 14, OR Placement in ENG 22/60 or ESL 23, or higher

Degrees That Can Be Earned

Associate in Arts (AA)

Upon successful completion of the AA in Hawaiian Studies, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate competency in spoken and written Hawaiian language at an intermediate level and show a familiarity with the oral traditions and written literature of Hawai‘i.
  • Identify elements of the geology and geography of Hawai‘i and the role of Hawaiian culture in understanding the ‘aina (land/earth).
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the complex cultural, political and social history of Hawai‘i and its impact on contemporary issues.
  • Recognize, analyze, evaluate and work to solve contemporary economic, political and social problems in Hawai‘i.
  • Utilize the Hawaiian understanding of ethics, philosophy, religion, and the worldview in solving contemporary issues.

HWST 105 - Mea Kanu: Hawaiian Plants And Their Uses (3)

  • Prerequisite: Placement in ENG 22/60 or ESL 23

This course explores the cultural uses of plants by humans in the Hawaiian archipelago and elsewhere in Polynesia. Focus will be upon those plants that were originally found in Hawaiʻi when early settlers came and those plants that were brought by them. Cross-listed as BOT 105.

Upon successful completion of HWST 105, students will be able to:

  • Identify the origins and dispersal agents of endemic, indigenous, and introduced plants in Hawaii.
  • Describe the influence of natural history and environmental conditions on the habitat distribution of these plants and on Hawaiian settlement patterns.
  • Identify plants of ethnobotanical significance in Hawaiian culture by their Hawaiian names.
  • Demonstrate awareness of scientific and folk taxonomy as the relate to Hawaiian plants.
  • Discuss the relationship of selected plants to Hawaiian material culture, agricultural practices, and belief systems.
  • Identify differences and similarities between Hawaiian ethnobotanical practices with those in other Polynesian societies

3 hrs. lect./demo. per week

HWST 107 - Hawaiʻi: Center Of The Pacific (3)

  • Prerequisite: Placement in ENG 22/60 or ESL 23

This course examines traditional Hawaiian and Pacific cultures and how outside western ideas and ideals have impacted upon island societies. Particular focus is on colonization and modernization and the conflicts they impose upon native Hawaiian and other Pacific peoples.

Upon successful completion of HWST 107, students will be able to:

  • Identify and explain basic knowledge of Pacific geography, including Hawaiian place names and land divisions.
  • Explain the past histories of Hawaiʻi and Oceania, genealogical origins, migrations and traditional cultures.
  • Demonstrate how important it is to malama (care for) the (land) because of the relationship the people of Hawaiʻi and Oceania have always had with the environment.
  • Pronounce and spell Hawaiian words correctly, as well as have a basic understanding of the cultural and political significance of indigenous languages in the Pacific.
  • Describe the nave religions and spirituality of Hawaii and larger Pacific.
  • Practice, examine, and explain some of the native mea noʻeau (crafts or fine arts) of Hawaii and the Pacific.
  • Recognize and describe the impacts of colonization on traditional Hawaiian society and the continued effects on contemporary Hawaii.
  • Develop and explain your own critical perspectives and analyses of contemporary social, political, and economic issues in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific, with a particular focus on Hawaiian initiatives for sovereignty and self-determination.

3 hrs. lect. per week

HWST 110 - WaʻA HoʻOkele: Hawaiian Sailing Canoes (3)

  • Prerequisite: Placement in ENG 22/60 or ESL 23
  • Recommended Prep: Some knowledge of Hawaiian language and culture

This course introduces students to traditional and modern knowledge about canoe building and coastal sailing in Hawaiʻi. The Spiritual and practical aspects of canoe traditions will be covered along with related knowledge of astronomy, meteorology, oceanography, geography, ethnobotany, and physics. May be taken on a CR/N basis.

Upon successful completion of HWST 110, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of cultural protocols and values associated with sailing Hawaiian coastal canoes.
  • Demonstrate the ability to swim 500 meters and stay afloat for one hour in deep water.
  • Identify and explain dangers associated with sailing a coastal canoe and practice procedures and use equipment to safeguard against harm or injury at sea.
  • Identify and explain emergencies that may occur at sea and practice procedures and using equipment to respond to an emergency to prevent injury or loss of life.
  • Demonstrate the ability to produce a sail plan.
  • Demonstrate the ability to monitor weather patterns and determine right winds and safe ocean conditions for sailing on a designated vessel to the destination indicated in the sail plan.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the captain, navigator, and other crew positions on board a coastal sailing canoe.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of parts of the canoe and canoe.
  • Demonstrate skills needed to sail a coastal canoe, including tying and untying knots, casting off from a dock or weighing anchor, paddling, raking the mast, setting the sails, steering, tacking, stopping, anchoring, and docking.
  • Demonstrate a competence in coordinating activities of a sailing canoe and an escort vessel.

3 hrs. lect. per week

HWST 212 - Hula ʻOlapa: Traditional Hawaiian Dance (2)

This is a beginning course in the traditional/ancient styles of hula. The performance of repertoire and techniques will be at the novice level. Cultural, historical, political and mythological concerns will be discussed as well as the integration of some Hawaiian language terminology.

Upon successful completion of HWST 212, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate basic hula foot movements and body postures in traditional Hawaiian hula.
  • Recognize and apply traditional hula words and concepts as used in traditional Hawaiian hula.
  • Pronounce, memorize and phrase Hawaiian chant terms, idioms, phrases and textual material correctly.
  • Chant and memorize Hawaiian texts with correct melodic form phrasing and pronunciation precisely.
  • Explain studied aspects of traditional Hawaiian hula
  • Perform all learned pieces, at least at the novice level, with confidence.

1 hr. lect., 1.5 hr. lab per week

HWST 270 - Hawaiian Mythology

  • Prerequisite: HWST 107 or HAW 101; "C" or higher in ENG 100
  • Recommended Prep: HAW 102

Survey of Hawaiian and Polynesian gods, ʻaumakua, kupua, mythical heroes, heroines, and their kinolau as the basis of traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian metaphor.

Upon successful completion of HWST 270, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate, analyze, and explain the relationships between Hawaiian and Polynesian moʻolelo, religion, and social structure.
  • Analyze and explain how moʻolelo illustrate and set precedents for our cultural values.
  • Explain by comparing and contrasting Polynesian and Western concepts of 'history' and 'myth'.
  • Identify and access major written and oral sources for moʻolelo.
  • Demonstrate significance of Hawaiian akua, ʻaumakua, kupua, and similar deities throughout Polynesia.
  • Describe and classify different characters from Hawaiian moʻolelo and their Polynesian counterparts.

3 hrs. lect. per week

HWST 281 - HoʻOkele I: Hawaiian Astronomy And Weather (3)

  • Prerequisite: Placement in ENG 22 or ESL 23, or Instructor consent
  • Recommended Prep: HWST 110 and HWST 107. Some knowledge of Hawaiian language and culture.

An introduction to Hawaiian views of astronomy and weather, required as preparation for sailing a double hull canoe in following semester. Repeatable one time. May be taken on a CR/N basis.

Upon successful completion of HWST 281, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian concepts of the cosmos, space, direction, and time and explain how these concepts compare with Western concepts.
  • Identify and name the component parts of the star compass used by Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) trained navigators.
  • Identify and name (both Hawaiian and non- Hawaiian names) the four star lines used by contemporary Hawaiian wayfinders.
  • Identify and name the stars and constellations that make up the individual star lines.
  • Identify and explain the declination of each star and how they relate to significant places in broader Polynesia.
  • Critically examine and explain the differences between the Micronesian star compass used by Mau Piailug and the contemporary wayfinding starcompass.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the stories, both traditional and contemporary, that are attached to the stars, constellations and star lines used by wayfinding navigators.
  • Identify and explain significance of celestial bodies and atmospheric and oceanic features and conditions used in navigation and weather prediction.
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of non-instrument and instrument-aided navigation and weather.
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the richness of the Hawaiian language in describing geography and navigation, and demonstrate knowledge of how the terminology reflects a Hawaiian world view.

3 hrs. lect. per week

HWST 282 - HoʻOkele II: Hawaiian Navigation, Weather, Canoe Design And Sail (3)

  • Prerequisite: Placement in ENG 22 or ESL 23; and HWST 281 or Instructor consent
  • Recommended Prep: HWST 110 and HWST 107

Hawaiian Navigation and Voyaging introduces students to traditional knowledge of Hawaiian voyaging and navigation and to the modern revival of voyaging arts in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific through a survey of history of navigation; introduction of skills needed to navigate double hulled voyaging canoes; survey of canoe design in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific, introduction of sailing dynamics; overview of weather and sea conditions in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific; introduction to sail planning including dead reckoning, steering by the stars, and other methods used by traditional navigators. The course places Hawaiian navigation and voyaging in the context of Polynesian and Pacific cultures and the pre-European discovery and settlement of the Pacific islands and its application in the contemporary Pacific. May be taken on a CR/N basis.

Upon successful completion of HWST 282, students will be able to:

  • Recognize and explain the shared elements, conflicts, and affirmations in indigenous traditions of voyaging in Hawaii and the Pacific, from pre-European contact to the revival of voyaging arts in modem times.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the voyages of Hokulea and other modem Pacific canoes and what has been learned from such voyages about traditional navigation, voyaging, and migration routes.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the Pacific-wide cross.cultural exchanges that are taking place in the modem revival of Hawaiian voyaging.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian concepts of the cosmos, space, direction, and time and how these concepts compare with Western concepts.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of non-instrument navigation.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of traditional concepts of wind and weather and non-instrument weather forecasting.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of voyaging canoe design and building materials, techniques, and protocols.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of provisioning for traditional and modem voyages.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Hawaiian and Polynesian voyaging traditions and voyagers and the cultural perspectives, values, and world views they represent; explain by comparison and contrast these cultural perspectives, values, and world views to those of contemporary West societies.
  • Critically examine and explain oral traditions and modern theories and facts about the discovery and settlement of Hawaii and other Pacific islands.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Pacific geography, weather systems, and oceanic currents and conditions, as related to the discovery and settlement of the Pacific islands.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the significance of voyaging in the revival of native Hawaiian culture and education in modern times.

3 hrs. lect. per week

HWST 284 - He Moku He Waʻa: An Island is a Canoe (3)

  • Prerequisite: ENG 22/60 or ESL 23, OR Placement in ENG 100
  • Recommended Prep: HWST 107, HWST 282
  • Comment: Students will demonstrate basic swimming and will be provided personal flotation devices if unable to demonstrate basic swimming. Students should have the ability to jump onto the deck of a boat that is 1-2 feet below the pier level. Some heavy lifting (e.g. lifting an anchor) may be required.

This course explores the metaphor of an island being a canoe through a survey of traditional resource management in Hawaiʻi, its relevance in contemporary society and a survey of voyaging including noninstrument navigation, sail planning and skills needed to sail double hulled canoes. This course also provides students with hands-on experience in voyaging and malama aina and examining the connections between the two. Students may enroll 2 times for a maximum of 6 credits. May be taken on a CR/N basis.

Upon successful completion of HWST 284, students will be able to:

  • Recognize and explain the significance of aloha aina (love of the land) as a core value of traditional Hawaiian society.
  • Critically examine and analyze traditional resource management and food production in Hawaiʻi and their relevance in addressing contemporary environmental issues in Hawaiʻi and Oceania.
  • Identify some Native and Polynesian-introduced plants and explain traditional uses of these plants.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the voyages of Hokulea and other modern Oceanic canoes and what has been learned from such voyages about traditional navigation and voyaging.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic concepts of non-instrument navigation.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the parts of a voyaging canoe, canoe rigging, and safety and emergency procedures.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of developing and carrying out a sail plan which include: course strategy, reference course, and necessary provisions.

3 hrs. lect. per week

HWST 110L - WaʻA HoʻOkele: Hawaiian Sailing Canoes Lab (1)

  • Prerequisite or Co-requisite: HWST 110
  • Recommended Prep: Some ocean experience and experience on boats. Knowledge of one's susceptibility to seasickness and ways of preventing or dealing with seasickness, as needed.
  • Comment: Concurrent enrollment in or completion of HWST 110 with a "C" or higher grade. Students must pass a swim test during the first three weeks of class: Students will be asked to swim 500 meters and stay afloat for one hour in deep water. Students should also have the ability to jump onto the deck of a boat that is 1-2 feet below the pier level. Some heavy lifting (e.g. pulling up an anchor) may be required.

This course introduces students to the knowledge and skills needed to sail canoes in coastal waters. Students will apply the knowledge acquired in HWST 110 in hands-on activities. Repeatable once. May be taken on a CR/N basis.

Upon successful completion of HWST 110L, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of cultural protocols and values associated with sailing Hawaiian coastal canoes.
  • Demonstrate the ability to swim 500 meters and stay afloat for one hour in deep water.
  • Identify and explain dangers associated with sailing a coastal canoe and practice procedures and use equipment to safeguard against harm or injury at sea.
  • Identify and explain emergencies that may occur at sea and practice procedures and using equipment to respond to an emergency prevent injury or loss of life.
  • Demonstrate the ability to produce a sail plan.
  • Demonstrate the ability to monitor weather patterns and determine right winds and safe ocean conditions for sailing on a designated vessel to the destination indicated in the sail plan.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the captain, navigator, and other crew positions on board a coastal sailing canoe.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of parts of the canoe and canoe rigging.
  • Demonstrate skills needed to sail a coastal canoe, including tying and untying knots, casting off from a dock or weighing anchor, paddling, raking the mast, setting the sails, steering, tacking, stopping, anchoring, and docking.
  • Demonstrate a competence in coordinating activities of a sailing canoe and an escort vessel.

3 hrs. lab. per week

HWST 281L - HoʻOkele I: Hawaiian Astronomy And Weather Lab (1)

  • Prerequisite: Placement in ENG 22 or ESL 23, or Instructor consent Prerequisite or Corequisite: HWST 281
  • Recommended Prep: HWST 110 and HWST 107

Stargazing laboratory to accompany HWST 281. Repeatable one time. May be taken on a CR/N basis.

Upon successful completion of HWST 281L, students will be able to:

  • Apply practical knowledge of traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian concepts of the cosmos, space, direction, and time ana now these concepts compare with Western concepts.
  • Identify and name the component parts of the star compass used by Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) trained navigators in a live setting.
  • Identify and name (both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian names) the four star lines used by contemporary Hawaiian wayfinders in a live setting.
  • Identify and name the stars and constellations that make up me individual star lines in a live setting.
  • Identity and explain the declination of each star and how they relate to significant places in broader Polynesia.
  • Apply knowledge of the stories, both traditional and contemporary, that are attached to the stars, constellations and star lines used by wayfinding navigators in a live setting.
  • Identity and explain significance of celestial bodies and atmospheric and oceanic features and conditions used in navigation a weather prediction in a live setting.
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of non-instniment and instrument-aided navigation and weather in a live setting.

3 hrs. lect. per week

HWST 282L - HoʻOkele II: Hawaiian Navigation, Weather, Canoe Design And Sail Lab (1)

  • Prerequisite: Placement in ENG 22 or ESL 23; and HWST 281 or Instructor consent
  • Prerequisite or Co-requisite: HWST 282
  • Recommended Prep: HWST 110 and HWST 107.
  • Some ocean experience and experience on boats. Knowledge of one's susceptibility to seasickness and ways of preventing or dealing with seasickness, as needed.
  • Comment: Students will demonstrate basic swimming and will be provided personal flotation devices if unable to demonstrate basic swimming. Students should have the ability to jump onto the deck of a boat that is 1-2 feet below the pier level. Some heavy lifting (e.g. pulling up an anchor) may be required.

Hawaiian Navigation introduces students to hands-on traditional knowledge of Hawaiian voyaging and navigation aboard a double hulled canoe sailing laboratory to accompany HWST 282. Repeatable one time. May be taken on a CR/N basis.

Upon successful completion of HWST 282L, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate practical application of the knowledge of traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian concepts of the cosmos, space, direction, and time and how these concepts compare with Western concepts.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify the four major star lines used by the Polynesian Voyaging Society.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate cultural protocol and values associated with sailing Hawaiian and Polynesian voyaging canoes.
  • Identify and explain the dangers associated with sailing can and practice procedures and the use of equipment to safeguard against harm and injury at sea.
  • Identify and explain emergencies that may occur at sea and explain practice procedures while utilizing proper equipment to respond to an emergency that will prevent injury or loss of life.
  • Demonstrate ability to develop and produce a sail plan.
  • Demonstrate ability to accurately monitor weather and ocean patterns to determine safe ocean conditions for sailing on a designate vessel to the destination indicated in the sail plan, Demonstrate knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of I captain, navigator and other crew positions on board the sailing canoe.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the parts of the canoe and canoe rigging.
  • Demonstrate skills to sail a canoe which include: tying and untying knots, casting off from a dock or weighing anchor, paddling, rigging the mast, setting the sails, steering, tacking, stopping, anchoring and docking.
  • Demonstrate competency in coordinating activities of a sailing canoe and an escort vessel.

3 hrs. lect. per week