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Tales and Traditions of the People of Old: Nā Mo‘olelo a ka Po‘e Kahiko (ebook)

As western influence threatened to obscure the native culture of Hawai‘i in the nineteenth century, a few Hawaiians felt moved to document their traditions and beliefs. Samuel M. Kamakau was among the most prolific of these scholars. Tales and Traditions of the People of Old completes a trilogy based on a series of articles Kamakau wrote in 1868 and 1870 for the Hawaiian-language newspaper Ke Au Okoa. The first volume, Ka Po‘e Kahiko: The People of Old, documents the spiritual beliefs and practices of traditional Hawaiians. The second, Works of the People of Old, examines their material culture. In this final volume, Kamakau takes the reader on a tour of the islands, stopping along the way to tell tales associated with various sites. The stories, some full of mischief, bring to life the ancestral chiefs and gods of Hawai‘i. Kamakau describes the origins of Hawai‘i and its people, taking pains to trace the genealogies of the chiefs. Today the knowledge that Kamakau tried to capture for future generations would be out of reach of most of the people of Hawai‘i, were it not for the faithful translation into English by Mary Kawena Pukui and the skillfull editing of Dorothy Barrère.

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