Indigenous is an interesting word. A dictionary definition (there are a few variations) goes as follows:

Produced, growing, living, or occurring natively or naturally in a particular region or environment.

But also:

Relating to the earliest known inhabitants of a place.

For the purpose of this post, I’ll talk about a combination of the two definitions and how they are purposefully mangled by idiots . . . er . . . non-thinking jer . . . er . . . well-meaning people.

And I’ll begin with Hawaiʻi.

Having lived in Hawaiʻi for a few years, I was struck by the sanctimonious attitude of many of the natives. Like most people everywhere, they have a certain image of themselves, are proud of their culture and customs, and walk around with a chip on their shoulder about being ‘invaded’ by who they call ‘haoles’.

They will tell you the term refers to ‘light skin’ or ‘visitor’, but just swap the ‘h’ and ‘a’ around and you get what I think they really mean.

You see, Hawaiʻians, like most people who don’t know history, claim possession to where they live by virtue of having lived there a long time and — like most people — are not happy when outsiders ‘invade’ the place. I’m sure most readers are familiar with various conflicts around the world — and here, too — based on claims about who has the right to live in this or that place.

The thing is, at one time, no one lived on those islands. Then Polynesians came, liked it, and settled there (LINK). Later, Tahitians came, liked it, and settled there. By ‘settled’, I mean conquered the Polynesians (LINK). You know the rest; Europeans came and also settled there, and so on.

It all started with Monthy Python and the Holy Grail

No, wait . . . the lie predates the movie. Every man-on-a-deserted-island cartoon I ever saw drew coconuts that looked like this:

Photo from Wikipedia

Well, not exactly like that . . . they drew them whole, but still looking like this, with the familiar bowling-ball-like indentations.

Photo from Wikipedia