From the liner notes: Hawaiians and Filipinos are connected throughout history by genealogy and cultural practice. In the modern period, Hawaiians and Filipinos first encountered one another at the margins of the historical record — such as chief Ka‘iana’s visit to Zamboanga — until the American period, when a coordinated effort by sugar plantations brought many Filipinos to Hawai‘i as contract laborers.
Although Filipinos and Hawaiians, by and large, were members of the working classes, the encounter was structured and circumscribed by the plantations’ policy of racial hierarchies and settler colonial logic that pervaded society at the time.
By interweaving stories, languages, and music, Kāwili re-imagines these initial cultural encounters between Filipinos and Hawaiians to re-envision the future of Hawai‘i. It is a future that reflects on migration, hospitality, cultural dynamism and intercultural exchange; yet unified in a commitment to aloha ‘āina.
Proceeds from the sale of this album will benefit the Refugee & Immigration Law Clinic at the William S. Richardson School of Law and the Ilokano Language and Literature Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa