The term hapa comes from a Hawaiian Pidgin word that denotes a part or fragment of something, itself a loan from the English word half. When applied to people, this denotes that such people are of mixed descent. Mary Pukui and Samuel Ebert's Hawaiian Dictionary define hapa as: "of mixed blood, person of mixed blood as in hapa Hawaiʻi, part Hawaiian." The word hapa has increasingly entered the local languages and jargons of a variety of Asian ethnic groups both in Hawaii and on the mainland.
Used without qualification, hapa is often taken to mean "part White," and is shorthand for hapa haole. The term can be used in conjunction with other Hawaiian racial and ethnic descriptors to specify a particular racial or ethnic mixture. Examples of this include:
- hapa haole (part Caucasian/white).
- hapa kanaka (part Native Hawaiian).
- hapa ʻInikiki ʻAmelika (part Native American).
- hapa popolo (part African/black).
- hapa kepani (part Japanese); the term hapanese and "hafu" are also encountered.
- hapa pilipino (part Filipino).
- hapa pake (part Chinese).
- hapa kolea (part Korean).
- hapa kamoa (part Samoan).
- hapa (hi)sepania (part Spanish/white and Latino).
- hapa pukiki (part Portuguese/white).
Pukui states that the original meaning of the word haole was "foreigner". Therefore, all non-Hawaiians can be called haole. In practical terms, however, the term is used as a racial description with the specific exclusion of Portuguese. Portuguese were traditionally considered to be a separate race in Hawaii.
Hapa celebrities include:
Part Asian, 100% Hapa (Chronicle Books, 2006)
In 2001, artist Kip Fulbeck began traveling the United States to find and interview hapa participants for The Hapa Project. The accompanying book consists of hundreds Americans who are of varying ages and genders and mixed races, presumably of Asian/Pacific Islander descent. The participants have similar mugshot or passport type pictures which are expressionless, without make-up, and showing only the face from the shoulders up. Under each photograph is a hand-written response which uniquely answers the question, “What are you?” 
See also↑Jump back a section
- Grant Barrett. "Dictionary definition of hapa". Double Tongued Dictionary. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- "What’s a "Hapa"...?". IMDiversity web site. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- Mary Kawena Pukui and Elbert (2003). "lookup of hapa". on Hawaiian dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- Mary Kawena Pukui and Elbert (2003). "lookup of haole". on Hawaiian dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- Gerrit Parmele Judd IV (1961). Hawaii: an informal history. Collier Books. p. 136.
- Kanahele, George S.; Berger, John, eds. (2012) . Hawaiian Music & Musicians (2nd ed.). Honolulu, HI, USA: Mutual Publishing, LLC. ISBN 9781566479677. OCLC 808415079.
- Allen, Percy (1996-03-15). "Fed. Way Speedskater Decides To Take His Time". The Seattle Times.
- C.N. Le (2010). "Multiracial/Hapa Asian Americans". Asian-Nation web site. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- Hapa Voice: A Celebration of Multiracial Identity
- Everything Hapa - The intersection of Eastern and Western Cultures
- Psychology Today: Mixed Race, Pretty Face? by William Lee Adams
- CNN's Betty Nguyen on Hapa Identity "Growing Up Hapa"
- Orange County Register: Hapa Nation by Valerie Takahama
- The Hapa Collection at Discover Nikkei
- Los Angeles Times: "Hapas" find a voice in emerging culture by Teresa Watanabe
- The Hapa Project: A Book Project on Multiracial Asian/Pacific Islander Americans
- MTV News: "Hapas Define Themselves"
- AsianWeek: "Hapa Issues move Into the Spotlight" by Stacy Lavilla
- Yes, We're Together: "OCD: Obsessed With Culture Disorder" by Atinuke Diver - 2011 Harvard Hapa "So What Are You Anyway?" Conference
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