Jocelyn Linnekin’s book, Sacred Queens and Women of Consequence: Rank, Gender, and Colonialism in the Hawaiian Islands is aimed as answering the simple question why there was a statistical inheritance pattern shift that allowed land to come increasing into the hands of women. The women of consequence in the book are the commoner or ordinary women of Hawaii. Her approach seems to hold for a constructionist approach to history, where the contemporary people construct history as opposed to the events that actually transpired.
The first three chapters are a demonstration of her authorship style of her attempt to bring the Hawaiian women role as a significant part of the society in similar levels to the men; she does this by challenging the conception of female marginality and passivity. The first chapter is a simple introduction to the Hawaiian society beginning with the impact of colonial conquest to the indigenous people to eventual annexation of Hawaii by United States in 1898. The introduction clarifies that the study seeks to trace the political and economic transformation of the region since the European conquest in the context of how the women fared in the transition. The second chapter, Women and Tabu is mainly focused on the issues of purity and pollution on women’s political and temporal activities. The second chapter explores the status of women in the early post-contact and later pre-contact Hawaii. This includes systems such as the Kapu system that had a ritually mandated segregation of genders in the Hawaiian Society.
In summary, the book is insightful of the development of Hawaiian women over time since precolonial days, The book is well referenced and relies on empirical data to support its arguments thus reinforcing its validity. She succeeds in painting the transformation of Hawaiian women in a new light different from one of marginalization and passivity.
Linnekin, Jocelyn. Sacred Queens and Women of Consequence: Rank, Gender, and Colonialism in the Hawaiian Islands. New York: University of Michigan Press, 1990. Online. <https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=obTDDKJ-vRwC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=true>.