Hawaiian Antiquities: Moʻolelo Hawaiʻi

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David Malo (ca. 1793–1853) stands with Samuel Kamakau and John Papa ‘Ī‘ī as one of the three most significant Native Hawaiian historians of the nineteenth century. Malo’s Hawaiian Antiquities is considered a classic and deserves a place in the library of any serious student of Hawaiiana. Raised among chiefs, priests, artisans, and scholars in the court of Kamehameha I, Malo provides one of the few authentic sources of information on the ancient beliefs and practices of Hawaiians. Malo was among the Hawaiians to study reading and writing with the missionaries. Although he was influenced by Christian teachings, he had been brought up under the traditional Hawaiian kapu system and his writings closely embody Hawaiian patterns of thought. Hawaiian Antiquities is a singular account of Hawaiian culture and society in pre-Christian times. This engrossing study, completed in 1839, tells us of the material world of Hawaiians, as well as their origins, myths and beliefs.

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