chapter  2
20 Pages

E hua e

Surfing and sexuality in Hawaiian society
ByIan ‘Akahi Masterson

Heʻenalu – wave-sliding, was not just a daily and ritual activity in Hawaii prior to Western contact. Surfing was a metaphorical field that followed along the dynamic history of the highest ranks of Polynesian aliʻi striving to soar atop the high crests of genealogical waves of indigenous wayfinders voyaging out across Oceania. As a field of metaphor, surfing analogies framed and expressed sexuality from a Hawaiian worldview. In this thematic field, women challenged men both in the surf and through their familial relationships that assigned rank. A source of great political potential, such high-ranking women were sought after by many chiefs. With that potential came power in a bilateral chiefdom stratified by rank and gender. Holistically speaking, the dynamics of Hawaiian chiefly relationships are revealed here through a study on surfing. Explore fantastic poetic visions of legendary surfers interacting on a dynamic sea of genealogies – striving for the kūlana nalu!