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Committee | Featured Session
Nov 11, 2021 04:00 PM - 05:50 PM(America/Chicago)
20211111T1600 20211111T1750 America/Chicago Finding Mary: Diasporic Hawaiian Performance in the Archive (Critical Race Lecture, Committee on Race, Indigeneity, and Ethnicity)

Indigeneity is imagined to be legible through the performance of a prescribed set of unchanging cultural signs. How can Indigeneity be recognized when these signs are not performed? This paper discusses the challenges of identifying and writing about diasporic Hawaiian performances in the archive when signs of indigeneity are absent. I examine the performances of Mary Kaʻaihue of the "Mary Kaye Trio" a Las Vegas lounge act from the 1950s-60s. Mary Kaye was allegedly descended from Hawaiian royalty and called "the First Lady of rock and roll" in her time, but she remains unknown within Hawaiian music history. I contemplate the significance of reading her through the lens of Hawaiian feminist and queer performance, to open space within Hawaiian futures that includes marginalized performances especially those that were generated outside of the Pacific away from ancestral homelands. I analyze how she confounded expectations of indigeneity, sexuality and Hawaiian diaspora.

AMS 2021 ams@amsmusicology.org

Indigeneity is imagined to be legible through the performance of a prescribed set of unchanging cultural signs. How can Indigeneity be recognized when these signs are not performed? This paper discusses the challenges of identifying and writing about diasporic Hawaiian performances in the archive when signs of indigeneity are absent. I examine the performances of Mary Kaʻaihue of the "Mary Kaye Trio" a Las Vegas lounge act from the 1950s-60s. Mary Kaye was allegedly descended from Hawaiian royalty and called "the First Lady of rock and roll" in her time, but she remains unknown within Hawaiian music history. I contemplate the significance of reading her through the lens of Hawaiian feminist and queer performance, to open space within Hawaiian futures that includes marginalized performances especially those that were generated outside of the Pacific away from ancestral homelands. I analyze how she confounded expectations of indigeneity, sexuality and Hawaiian diaspora.

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