Stewart Atoll

A separate question re Hawaiian sovereignty: apparently, there is some claim by native Hawaiians to Stewart Atoll, a few thousand miles to the SW in the Solomons. A brief Sunday paper article decribed it, without attribution. Anyone else ever hear of this situation ? Found nothing so far on the Web, anyway.

(Briefly, Hawaii-based ship went past the island while whaling, the residents thought allegience to the Hawaiian king was a good idea, what with food scarce and cannibalism rampant, and - this quoting the newspaper - they consider themselves Hawaiian, to the point of attempting to vote, and believing that the Casimero Brothers, a local musical duo - are gods. Sounds cargo cultish to me, but apparently wihtout hypocrisy acc. to some of the sovereignty proponents.)

“Proverbs for Paranoids, 1: You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.”

  • T.Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow.


Help ! Has no one heard of this “contested” territory ? or did the Honolulu Advertiser make it up, and the more virulent of the sovereignty types take up the banner of a fabrication ? an urban legend (island legend ?)

I’ve been looking everywhere for information on Stewart Atoll and have learned little else but it’s position on a map. (It doesn’t help that there is much larger island by the same name off the southern tip of New Zeeland.) It’s literally on the chain’s frontier and is well over 200 miles from the coast of Guadelcanal (The chain’s main island).

I’ve found plenty on the rest of the component Solomon Islands (a sovereign nation, BTW). This complete lack of info leads me to suspect that the atoll is uninhabited and of no use to anybody but people who want to find an obscure island to build a tale around.

What political point the tale is meant to have escapes me. Someone would have to have the “two wrongs make a right” philosophy thoroughly ingrained in their noggins to appreciate it on that level.

Yeah, all I found was Stewart Island, too.
This Government site has Hawaii and all the out-islands, did not see it here.

Good stuff from the Fish & Wildlife Dept.

Thanks for your reply, PapaBear. (I was starting to wonder if I had offended the SDB somehow.) I don’t get it either, as the Advertiser had published the story as a feature story more or less illustrating the breadth and munificence of King Kamehameha’s domain, and the subsequent article by a sovereignty proponent in the Honolulu Weekly (where SD is locally published) described it as the eastern edge of the “rightful” Hawaiian lands.

The inclusion of the atoll in this one-day pan-Pacific Hawaiian state seems pretty hypocritical to me, considering the negative characterization of Hawaii’s acquisition by the same people - and stranger yet considering I couldn’t find any references to historical accuracy. If you’re gonna make something up, wouldn’t you slant the “facts” in your favor ?

Oops, I meant to say thanks…PB and Nick…

They are referred to in the following as the “Stewart Islands”, not the “Stewart Atoll” (and not to be confused with “Stewart Island”)

The following is from a report on issues involving U.S. “insular areas”, specifically the Guano Islands Act :

“\2 Some residents of the Stewart Islands in the Solomon Islands group, which is located northeast of Australia and east of Papua New
Guinea, claim that they are native Hawaiians and U.S. citizens… They base their claim on the assertion that the Stewart Islands were ceded to King Kamehameha IV and accepted by him as part of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1856 and, thus, were part of the
Republic of Hawaii (which was declared in 1893) when it was annexed to the United States by law in 1898. The 1898 law identifies the islands being annexed only as the “Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies.” However, the annexation was based on the report of the Hawaiian Commission which did not include the Stewart Islands among the islands it identified as part of the Republic of Hawaii. Report
of the Hawaiian Commission, S. Doc. No. 16, 55th Cong., at 4 (3d Sess. 1898). In 1996, some Stewart Islands residents applied to register to vote in a plebescite limited to Native Hawaiians. Their requests for ballots, however, were rejected by the Hawaiian Sovereignty Election Council.”



Mahalo ![Thank you]

So much for my choices of search criteria…

Thanks, Bermuda99, but the report sez that the claim was initiated by the Stewart Islanders. The claim isn’t dated, but appears to be circa 1996, based on their assertions without any corresponding evidence in the annexation record.

So other than a several year old “story”, there seems to be no particular evidence to support it. Odd, no ? Sounds like a more advanced form of cargo worship.