Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Brandon C. Ledward
Haole refers to a largely racialized ethnic group in Hawai'i that has significantly shaped the society and direction of the islands. Olelo Hawai'i, the Hawaiian language, defines haole as either a general foreigner or a White person specifically. It is an often-heard term in Hawai'i, referring to people and things that are not indigenous to the islands. Depending on the context, it can be used as a neutral or pejorative term. Owing to a unique and tangled history, the term provokes strong racial, class, and political associations among Hawai'i residents. Enduring experiences with missionaries, plantation owners, military personnel, and tourists primarily contribute to current notions of haole. This entry looks at the origins of the term, its application to different groups, and its influence today. There is some debate regarding the original meaning of the word haole. One popular belief is that the term was first applied to U.S. honi, ...