After being out of print for several years, Keaomelemele is available once again from Bishop Museum Press. Twenty years after the initial publication of this edition, the book has been reprinted with the financial and logistical support of Kamehameha Publishing, a division of Kamehameha Schools. The title is the first to be produced in an ongoing partnership with Kamehameha Publishing.
The story of Keaomelemele, “the bold and magical girl of the rarified atmosphere,” was first published by master Hawaiian storyteller Moses Manu in 1884 and 1885 in over 31 installments of the Hawaiian-language newspaper “Ka Nupepa Kuokoa.”
This presentation of Keaomelemele —with the Hawaiian text and an English translation of Manu’s work—was initiated by beloved Bishop Museum kupuna Mrs. Patience Namaka Bacon. Her mother, the prolific Hawaiian scholar Mary Kawena Pukui, who had begun the translation work during her time at Bishop Museum, imbued Bacon with a love of and appreciation for Manu’s version of the tale.
“Keaomelemele is an educational resource and a delightful read in both languages. A unique account by Moses Manu, a renowned cultural and literary sage, Keaomelemele weaves legendary gems into a new lei of traditional literature. Mary Kawena Pukui’s expertise made the translation clear and enjoyable — A fine bilingual resource.”
— Hawaiian language scholar and Editor Puakea Nogelmeier.