Selections from Framing Paradise: Photography and Waikiki
The place called Waikiki by ancient Hawaiians is known throughout the contemporary world as a vacation escape promising beaches and bars, shopping and sunsets. In the Hawaiian language, Waikiki is the “place of the spouting waters,” and it once flourished as an area on the island of O‘ahu known for its pristinely accessible aquaculture and surf. Early Hawaiians settled here and built communities sustained by the natural resources available to them. But they would find their Waikiki changing quickly once the beauty and abundance of the area was discovered by outsiders. Waikiki was once esteemed for the mana it possessed. But years went by, and Waikiki became less the land of the native people of Hawai‘i and more the place for visitors. Today, the waterways and wetlands of Waikiki have been replaced by hotels and stores. The beach remains, as does Diamond Head in the backdrop. But tourism would eventually move to the forefront, and Waikiki would be forever changed.