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Stories of Life in Old Hawaii

By Caroline Curtis

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Book Id: WPLBN0002096989
Format Type: Default
File Size: 2 MB
Reproduction Date: 8/10/2011

Title: Stories of Life in Old Hawaii  
Author: Caroline Curtis
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Auxiliary Sciences of History, Hawaiian History
Collections: Education, Special Collection Scholastic History, Science Fiction Collection, Authors Community, Favorites from the National Library of China, Recreation, Fine Arts, Literature, Naval Science, Most Popular Books in China, Social Sciences, History, Language
Publication Date:
Publisher: Kamehameha Schools Press
Member Page: Hale Kuamo╩╗o Hawaiian Language Center


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Curtis, C. (1998). Stories of Life in Old Hawaii. Retrieved from

Writing in the nineteenth century, Hawaiian historian Kepelino said, "However diligently the foreigner seeks, he cannot find all. He gets a fragment here and there and goes home." That is very true. I have read what is available, but changes came so rapidly after 1778 that much of the information about the life and customs of long-ago Hawaii is lost. My greatest help has come from Mary Kawena Pukui. As a little girl in Kau, on the island of Hawaii, she lived with a wise grandmother who told her much about the old ways and beliefs. Young as she was, she listened with deep interest and felt herself a part of the life of the early days. Later, as a translator for Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, she enlarged her knowledge. I hope this book will kindle in boys and girls, and in interested adults, the feeling which Mrs. Pukui has passed on to me about life in old Hawaii and will increase their respect for the wisdom and skill of the Hawaiian people. Like other peoples living close to the earth, the early Hawaiians were constantly aware of the creative forces underlying and permeating their daily lives. To the gods who emerged from this awareness they turned to ask for help and blessing for their undertakings and to give thanks for success and for all the good things of life.

Hawaiian words used in the text, other than proper names, are identified through the use of italic type. These words are usually defined in the sentence in which they are first used or in the Glossary at the back of the book or both. Most Hawaiian words, like most words in English and other languages, can have more than one meaning depending on how and where they are used. Many Hawaiian words form plurals through the use of preceding articles or by changes in the diacritics (accent markings) within the words. For example, kahuna is a singular form and kahuna is a plural form. So sometimes it appears one way and sometimes another.

Table of Contents
Preface. vii -- Acknowledgments. viii -- House Building. 3 -- The Site. 3 -- Framing the House. 6 -- Thatching. 9 -- Gifts. 13 -- The Dedication. 14 -- Legend of the First Pearl-Shell Fishhook. 18 -- Kapa-Making. 25 -- In the Upland. 25 -- Wauke Bark. 29 -- Dyeing and Printing. 32 -- A Morning on the Reef. 39 -- A Morning on the Deep Blue Sea. 43 -- Upland Gardens. 49 -- A Visit of the Overseer. 49 -- The Uala Field. 51 -- The Kalo Patch. 55 -- Kalo Slips. 58 -- Rain. 63 -- After the Rain. 70 -- Planting. 81 -- Matmaking. 85 -- Capturing a Tiger Shark. 93 -- Luau and Salt. 97 -- Luau. 97 -- Salt. 99 -- The Hula School. 103 -- Laka, Goddess of the Hula. 103 -- Chosen. 106 -- In the Halau. 110 -- Graduation. 113 -- Kahana and His Master. 119 -- Woodcarving. 119 -- Tattooing. 122 -- With the Birdcatchers. 127 -- The Baby is Named. 127 -- The Consecration. 129 -- On the Way. 131 -- Life in the Forest. 137 -- Birdcatching in Other Districts. 138 -- The Great Surprise. 140 -- Canoemaking. 143 -- Palani Fishing. 143 -- Hauling. 146 -- The Moo of Nuuanu. 148 -- Pupils of Linohau. 151 -- In the Upland. 154 -- By the Sea. 158 -- The Consecration. 160 -- An Expert. 161 -- Makahiki. 167 -- Purification. 167 -- The Coming of Lono. 168 -- Games. 172 -- Ulu Maika. 175 -- Evening Games. 178 -- Hula. 182 -- Pahee and Holua. 186 -- The Return of Lono. 188 -- Prayers for the Year to Come. 193 -- The Training of a Kilo. 201 -- Aku Fishing. 205 -- Nawai the Netmaker. 217 -- On Land and Sea. 225 -- Signs. 225 -- Stilts and Flying Fish. 227 -- The Stonecutters. 231 -- In the Master's Yard. 231 -- The Journey. 234 -- The Workshop of the Adzes. 238 -- The Load of Adzes. 241 -- Lost. 246 -- The Island. 249 -- Hiwa. 255 -- Kalo Wehiwa. 255 -- Prayers for the Precious One. 257 -- A Kahuna of Healing. 261 -- "Funny Child". 261 -- A Pupil. 263 -- Maile Becomes a Kahuna. 268 -- Fishponds and Torches. 273 -- Year's End. 277 -- Hukilau. 277 -- Surfing. 279 -- Other Pastimes. 282 -- Glossary of Hawaiian Names and Words. 287 --


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