Monday, December 5, 2011

Niihua

I figured I'd share a link about the privately owned Hawaiian island of Niihua. Here's a tidbit...

If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you know that there’s plenty of Hawaiian culture to be found in the museums and souvenir shops that serve the 6 million tourists who visit each year. But that’s about the only place you’ll find it. The 80,000 Hawaiians who claim full native-Hawaiian ancestry today make up less than 6% of the state’s total population. Fewer than 2,000 Hawaiians are native Hawaiian speakers, and half of those are over 70 years old.
There are no communities left on the Hawaiian Islands that speak Hawaiian as their first language. No communities, that is, except one: the 130 Hawaiians who live on Niihau. Their culture and privacy are still carefully guarded by the descendants of Eliza Sinclair. On every other island, the traditional Hawaiian way of life has all but disappeared.

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