Māui, the Mischief Maker
Hawaiians and their Polynesian cousins tell many different stories of the demi-god Māui. This largely Hawaiian version is based on the Kumulipo, the ancient Hawaiian creation chant that tells how the world and everything in it was made. Told with careful attention to authenticity, Māui, the Mischief Maker describes Māui as a keiki ʻeu, or rascal child, who was always getting into mischief and angering the gods. Māui’s exploits, filled with fantasy and surprise, begin with his mysterious birth, unruly infancy and long sea-voyage wrapped in his mother’s hair. He travels to Kuaihelani, the home of the gods, brings fire, bamboo, and ʻawa to his people, and flies the first kite. Māui then goes on to use the sacred fishhook, Manai-a-kalani, to pull an island out of the sea. Later, he relies on his extraordinary powers to lasso the sun and raise the sky. He also battles the giant bat, Peʻapeʻa, to save his wife, and rescues his mother, Hina-a-keahi, from the giant eel in the Wailuku River. Most of the stories about Māui’s death agree that if Māui died, he was killed by the gods for being such a troublemaker. But Māui was a trickster, and some say he may still be with us. This ancient myth is told with vigor, simplicity, and a wealth of traditional detail. Lavishly illustrated with striking block prints of Dietrich Varez, Māui will be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
As told and illustrated by Dietrich Varez
Edited by Lilikalā Kameʻeleihiwa
Date of Publication: 1991
Size: 9 x 11 in.