Hawaiian Mythology

Paperback: $29.99
ISBN-13: 9780824805142
Published: June 1982

Additional Information

608 pages
  • About the Book
  • Ku and Hina-man andwoman-were the great ancestral gods of heaven and earth for the ancientHawaiians. They were life's fruitfulness and all the generations of mankind,both those who are to come and those already born.

    The Hawaiian gods werelike great chiefs from far lands who visited among the people, entering their dailylives sometimes as humans or animals, sometimes taking residence in a stone orwooden idol. As years passed, the families of gods grew and included thetrickster Maui, who snared the sun, and fiery Pele of the volcano.

    Ancient Hawaiian lived bythe animistic philosophy that assigned living souls to animals, trees, stones,stars, and clouds, as well as to humans. Religion and mythology were interwovenin Hawaiian culture; and local legends and genealogies were preserved in song,chant, and narrative.

    Martha Beckwith was thefirst scholar to chart a path through the hundreds of books, articles, andlittle-known manuscripts that recorded the oral narratives of the Hawaiianpeople. Her book has become a classic work of folklore and ethnology, and thedefinitive treatment of Hawaiian mythology.

    With an introduction by Katherine Luomala.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Martha Warren Beckwith, Author

  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • Invaluable for all those whose interest lies with the myths, legends, traditions, and folktales of the Hawaiian peoples ... a classic of Hawaiian ethnography and folklore.
      Mankind Quarterly
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