Kirsten Vacca

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Berkeley, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9438

Approve Date

April 18, 2017

Project Title

Vacca, Kirsten Marquise G., U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'A Question of Design: The Investigation of Space and Structure in Hawaiian Kauhale,' supervised by Dr.Patrick Kirch

Preliminary abstract: This project examines the construction of Hawaiian house complexes, questioning the social constructs that manifest in the spatial organization of the house sites. Previous work in Hawaiian archaeology has relied on late 19th and early 20th century ethnohistoric documents that outline a hierarchy between binary male and female genders, reinforced by spatial separation of certain activities, such as eating. The question remains to what degree were kauhale (complexes) spatially segregated and did the use of space reflect the social status of the household. Drawing from excavations of multiple complexes of buildings assumed to be residential architecture, dating from the 15th to 17th centuries, this project will directly assess the degree to which activities of everyday life were separated in space; the correspondence or lack of correspondence between activities that were evident in separate spaces; and the degree to which any spatial segregation of activities aligns with other evidence indicating the salience of class stratification. By using new methods which allow recovery of micro-residues, the proposed profiles of spatially located activities will be unambiguously linked to particular structures and areas within and outside the kauhale features. The results promise to provide a case study in how to do an archaeology of house complexes that does not presume that kauhale were homogenous entities within endogamous groups, but rather that they reflected complex and hierarchical social relationships as well as individual agency that was present in early Hawai’i.