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by Angela Sorace, JOUR 3000


“Moth, Nail, X” included a series of works on mixed media, with symbols that reference the objects—moth, nail, and X. The materials include burlap bags, wood planks, and doors with carvings and imprints of nails, moths, and Xs.

The nail symbolizes the stereotypical identity created by foreigners regarding Hawaiian women. The nail refers to trading, by Hawaiian women, sex for nails with foreigners who first came to Hawai‘i. The act shaped the perception that native women are desirable and can be purchased.

The X, or cross, represents Christianity through which the theme is repeated. Kukahiko believes any culture adopting Christianity will extract the paradigms more relevant to it.

“ My ancestors 200 years ago practiced a different faith compared to my ancestors 100 years ago,” Kukahiko said. “Yet I don‘t consider one ancestor to be more important than the other.”

Kukahiko considers spirituality and spiritual connections to be extremely important. “The Hawaiians I’ve known are Christians,” she said. “Yet they practiced Christianity that was different from a missionary-oppressive Christianity, and so even the Christianity I know is a hybrid.”
 

 

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