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Pre-sales are now open for a new Bishop Museum Press publication set to arrive in late March 2024: the 2024 reprinting of Nā Moʻolelo Lomilomi by Makana Risser Chai.

Lomilomi is the traditional art of Hawaiian massage, an ancient practice that is renowned for being a soothing, flowing, gentle, and relaxing experience. To the healers of old Hawaiʻi, lomilomi was much more. As documented from historic sources dating from 1779, lomilomi was connected to almost every aspect of Hawaiian life, from pregnancy and the birthing process to lua, the ancient Hawaiian martial art. Lomilomi is comprised of a variety of methods and treatments, include heat and water therapies, chiropractic manipulation, bone setting, and ho‘oponopono (counseling). It can cure the most common ailments, or bring someone back from the brink of death. Essential for lomilomi students and practitioners, Nā Moʻolelo Lomilomi delves into the historic roots, the cultural context, and the diversity of the traditional healing art.

Edited by Makana Risser Chai, this work accumulates accounts from Native Hawaiian historians David Malo, Samuel Kamakau, John Papa ʻĪʻī, Kepelino, Mary Kawena Pukui, and Malcolm Naea Chun as well as oral histories from more than 60 native healers from the 1830s to 2004. Chai is also a practicing Hawaiʻi massage therapist, and studied with lomilomi masters Auntie Margaret and Nerita Machado. She is also the author of Hawaiian Massage Lomilomi: Sacred Touch of Aloha. She speaks and writes on traditional Hawaiian healing and stress management.

 “Makana Risser Chai has done a great service for those of us who have dedicated our lives to the preservation of the Hawaiian people, healing arts and culture... The publication of this book will be one of the landmark events of the modern history of cultural massage therapy. Numerous haumana (students) and na kumu (teachers) across the country and the globe will have access to hitherto unknown gems of wisdom which sparkle across the history of Hawaiian medicine. This publication brings forth information which had been previously inaccessible to the general public. In a special way, this book represents the moment when another kapu has been removed.”
Dane Kaohelani Silva, kumu lomilomi
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