To what Extent was James Cook Figure Used as a Mythological Tool to Account for the Imposition of Western Ideas in Hawaii?
Captain James Cook was the first European to visit the Hawaiian Islands. Upon stepping on the island of Oahu and upon being received by natives as their god Lono, he brought with him Western ideology and practices that would forever change the Hawaiian culture and way of living. The world now knew about Hawaii and established trading ties; Christianity was soon manifested upon the native people and old traditions to be done away with. Modernization in the form of enterprise and schooling was implemented. And these changes would bring diseases to the vulnerable Hawaiian people, dilute old traditions, and destroy indigenous plants and animals. After Hawaii's acceptance into the union as the 50th State of America in 1959, commercialization, together with tourism, made the Hawaiian Islands recognized as a vacation spot. Today, Hawaii is culturally diverse and ideologically accepting, its culture a unique blend of East and West. Today's people of Hawaii take pride in diversity and celebrate old Hawaiian tradition. With growing awareness of the importance of retaining Hawaiian culture in past decades, many have come to view Western influence as negative, Cook as the injector of disease into the primitive, sheltered islands.
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- To what Extent was James Cook Figure Used as a Mythological Tool to Account for the Imposition of Western Ideas in Hawaii?
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