Invariably there are definitive statements that the missionaries “banned” and/or “abolished” surfing, hula, even speaking the Hawaiian language. However, in taking a closer look into the matter, most would likely come to a different conclusion. First of all, the missionaries were guests in the Hawaiian Kingdom; they didn’t have the power to ban or abolish anything – that was the right of the King and Chiefs.
Most will agree the missionaries despised the fact that Hawaiians typically surfed in the nude and that hula dancers were typically topless; they also didn’t like the commingling between the sexes. So, before we go on, we need to agree, the issue at hand is surfing and hula – not nudity and interactions between the sexes. In keeping this discussion on the actual activity and not sexuality, click the link for more on surfing.