hole hole bushi

hole hole bushi
Animated Digital Video
Running time: 2:06 min
2008

Utilizing the plantation song “hole hole bushi,” (which references the role of women in plantation life in Hawaii in the 19th century) as an audio track, I am animating the handiwork of my paternal and maternal grandmothers. My paternal grandmother worked as a plantation laborer in Hawaii, and my maternal grandmother was raised on a plantation. I have no doubt that this was one of many songs my grandmothers sang while they worked. “hole hole bushi” are folk songs created by women that describe the hardships of their everyday lives. Many “hole hole bushi” songs were never documented, and the only living record of the song are passed own through an oral history. During my research on women’s folk music and labor in America, the “hole hole bush” songs were not commonly acknowledged as part of the women’s folk music history in America.
By juxtaposing the “hole hole bushi” song with the leisure labor (their aesthetic handiwork) of my grandmothers I am attempting to create a discourse between representation, alternative narrative, history and aesthetic and personal experience though animation, sound, and video.

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