Ho'omana'o: A Cultural Framework for Reminiscence Interventions with Native Hawaiian Elders


  • Loriena A. Yancura


This paper presents a case for conducting reminiscence and life review work with older adults of Native Hawaiian descent (kupuna) and suggests ways in which this work may be done in a manner that is sensitive to and harmonious with Native Hawaiian cultural beliefs.  Reminiscence interventions may be of particular benefit to kupuna because Native Hawaiians have disproportionately poor mental and physical health compared to the general population. Specific features of the Hawaiian culture, such as linguistic recognition of the reconstructive nature of memory, and a tradition of oral transmission of knowledge, also suggest that reminiscence interventions are a good fit.  Relevant aspects of Native Hawaiian history and culture are then reviewed to create specific suggestions for culturally competent reminiscence work with kupuna and for future research with other indigenous and minority populations.






Special Section: Reminiscence through a Cultural Lens