Sponsored by: Keala Pono; International Archaeology, LLC; University of Hawai'i Press; Society for Hawaiian Archaeology
The SHA conference will be the capstone event for Archaeology Week in Hawaiʻi, October 21 to 27. We encourage you to arrive early in the week so that you are able to orient yourself to the natural and cultural landscape in Kona. You also won’t want to miss your chance to participate in a SHA-sponsored huakaʻi on Friday. Check out the link for more details.
When Epeli Hauʻofa, the late Tongan scholar, visited Hawaiʻi Island in 1993, the setting inspired him to make what would become one of his most influential observations: “Under the aegis of Pele, and before my very eyes, the Big Island was growing, rising from the depths of a mighty sea. The world of Oceania is not small; it is huge and growing bigger every day.” While Big Island continues to grow, models suggest it is simultaneously slipping beneath the waterline, as sea levels rise. As we gather to consider our conference theme, “I Kahiki ka ua, ako ʻē ka hale: A Changing Climate for Hawaiian Archaeology,” we hope that heʻāina Kona will similarly awaken new perspectives and commitments from archaeologists and allies.
The conference theme ōlelo noʻeau can be translated into English as “while the rain is still far away, thatch the house.” The meaning may be succinctly stated as “be prepared.” But, are Hawaiian archaeologists prepared for a rapidly changing climate? Global environmental changes are predicted to include rising sea levels, which will submerge or erode archaeological sites in Hawaiʻi and countless other Polynesian Islands. Ongoing changes in the social, economic, and political climate will present additional challenges to Hawaiian archaeology as status quo. Yet, environmental and social changes will also create opportunities and compel innovation. To prepare for a vigorous discussion of these topics, we encourage you to prepare yourself by reviewing some of the resources we have linked below.