TO DWELL AND TO REINHABIT: KIANA DAVENPORTS’S HOUSE OF MANY GODS AS BIOREGIONAL LITERATURE

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Kristiawan Indriyanto

Abstract

Environmental degradation has become a pivotal issue in Hawai’i nowadays. The policies of United States’
government and military has shaped the Hawai’ian ecology. Through the process of ecological imperialism,
started from the beginning of American colonialism, both the Hawai’ian’s landscape and their connection with
the environment is disrupted. Modern Hawai’ian ecology nowadays is a postcolonial ecology, which was, and
still is molded by the American imperial power. As a product of colonialism, Hawai’ians’ have become
alienated with their ancestral traditions, especially regarding interrelation between human and non-human.
Taking cues from Lawrence Buell’s assertion that environmental crisis is a crisis of the imagination, modern
Hawai’ian literature tries to reorient human–non human relationship from indigenous Hawai’ian
epistemology. As seen in Kiana Davenport’s the House of Many Gods, traditional Hawai’ian perspective is
reimagined to reterritorialize Hawai’ians in their previous environmental outlook, before the arrival of the
Americans. This study argues that by several bioregional concepts such as dwelling, and reinhabit, Kiana
Davenport’s the House of Many Gods can be stated as a bioregional literature.

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