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The indigenous Hawaiian population began a sort of renaissance in the late 1970’s, bringing back the native language and teaching it at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa for example. This was part of a larger movement for native rights, and a push to regain the homeland that was overthrown in 1893 by the U.S.government. The mural “Hawai’i a’u Kumu (Hawai’i is my Teacher)” painted in the UH quad by Calle O’Neill, where Benish was an assistant, celebrates native life and tradition. It became of focal point for discussion and public dialogue, as public spaces at universities are wont to do.


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