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Comment: 1990: First Edition: 27th printing: Mass Market Paperback: Very good condition: book was a gift to Ralph and was inscribed to him by a friend on the first free end page: comes with a postcard and bookmark from The Palace Shop from which is was presumably purchased originally: bumped corners: square spine, no creasing (guess Ralph didn't read it): 530 pages
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The Legends and Myths of Hawaii: The Fables and Folk-Lore of a Strange People Paperback – 1989

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 530 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Pub (1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080481032X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804810326
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,910,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By The Wingchair Critic on July 17, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Originally published in 1888, 'The Legends And Myths of Hawaii: The Fables & Folklore of a Strange People' by King David Kalakaua is probably the best book currently available on Hawaiian folklore, and due to its authentic pedigree, likely to be for some time.

Written with a certain amount of historical bias and subjectivity, only a thoroughly objective, enthusiastic and well-conceived scholarly overview may be able to be its equal.

In the early 19th century, and under the rule of an inappropriate king, a band of political and religious leaders of the only-recently united Hawaiian Islands formed a conspiracy with the intent of overthrowing the centuries-old native Hawaiian religion and tabu (taboo) traditions.

Though Christian missionaries were to arrive later, the conspirators had recently witnessed the arrival of foreign merchants to the islands, white men who appeared to act as they pleased without receiving fatal punishment from the native gods.

The weak young king, already something of a hedonist, was persuaded by the conspirators to join them in a public display of tabu defiance. Sadly, the conspirators were successful, and on that day the tabu system, gods, and idols--their entire centuries-old religious system--officially went into the fire forever.

Author Kalakaua, a direct descendant of the royal line, was famous during his reign for attempting to reverse this cultural dissolution and return the full majesty of the ancient Hawaiian traditions back to prominence among his people.

'The Legends And Myths Of Hawaii' was part of his effort, and, as such, has an important and dignified history. Throughout the volume, sensitive readers may sense the author's mental, emotional, and historical intimacy with his material.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By MC AC on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a online pal of mine pointed out to me recently, many people who have visited Hawaii seem to be on a quest to find 'the real Hawaii' - unspoiled by American influence and modern capitalism. This book provides a very unique insight into the ancient Hawaiian culture. Interestingly enough, many of the stories - including the Hawaiian creation myth - bear a strong resemblance to that of other cultures. The legends compiled here are poetic and mystical, reading like the script to an anime movie. My personal favorite was 'The Iron Knife,' which recounts the story of the first metal weapon introduced to the islands. 'Umi, The Peasant Prince of Hawaii' is another one that stands out. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the book, however, lies in the fact that each ot the stories are just as based in fact as they are in fiction. I highly recommend this book to anyone with even a wanning interest in the islands. The only drawbacks I see is that to someone not familiar with the Hawaiian language, keeping some of the character names in line may take a bit of effort; and at times, the attention to small details are bordering on tedious. A great read, nonetheless.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By chris meesey Food Czar on April 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Legends and Myths of Hawaii is one of the finest books you will ever read concerning that magical fleet of islands anchored in the Pacific, not to mention one of the very best mythology books you will find anywhere. Written with great gusto by David Kalakaua, His Hawaiian Majesty who was also somewhat of a Renaissance Man, these fabulous tales mix fact with fiction, historical figures with gods and goddesses, past and present into a rich stew of oral myth/history, certain to captivate even the most jaded reader. Indeed, the most striking feature of these wonderful tales is how the author accepts as gospel truth many suppositions that scientists and cultural anthopologists are still debating more than a century after his death. For example, most "scholarly" references to Ancient Hawaii mention the Menehunes, that proto-Hawaiian, pre-Polynesian race of people that supposedly inhabited the islands until the turn of the last millenium, but most sources still conjecture whether this band of early settlers existed in actual fact or only in myth and legend. His Majesty not only acknowledges that Menehunes lived and thrived, but actually may have survived the later "Polynesian invasion" which was supposed to have wiped them out; he cites a recent census where 65 inhabitants of a remote valley actually identified themselves as "Menehune"!!! It seems that many of our esteemed present-day scholars should in fact examine these tales more closely, the better to clear up ancient factual mysteries. (Halfway around the world, Hellenistic scholars, those concerned with ancient Greece, used Homer in their quest to unearth their legendary rival city of Troy in present-day Turkey. The bards of old truly knew what they were talking about!!Read more ›
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is indeed a masterpiece written by a real Hawaiian King himself, his majesty King David Kalakaua. As a Polynesian Hawaiian I have heard connections of the Hawaiians to Samoa, but I always thought they were just hearsays. Now its clear as crystal how Hawaiians are related to Samoa, the big island chiefs came from Samoa.
The Hawaiian King himself proclaims the Kamehameha lineage back to the Ali'i chief from Samoa named Pili, brought over by a high priest (Kahuna) named Pa'ao from Samoa. The Hawaiian King clearly identifies which ruling alii chief families descended from Tahiti, Society islands, Marquesas and the Ali'is who ruled big island Hawai'i from Samoa, the alii chief Pilikaeae or simply Pili.
The book is testament to the vast knowledge of the great Kamehameha Kings in King David Kalakaua. The written word by the Hawaiian king should be heralded and treasured for he possessed the highest of confidence, counsel, validity and security of information from his own family, advisors and educators his time.
The King's book is truly of highest value and respect, very eloquent, academic and articulate. The book is highly educational and full of information which clarify a lot about the origins of the Hawaiian people from Samoa, Tahiti and the Marquesas.
Pele the volcano goddess was an immigrant from Samoa to Puna, Hawaii according to the King Kalakaua. Classic relevations, this is a great source for understanding the birth of the Hawaiian people and their culture. The original Kanaka maoli from Samoa, Tahiti and the Society islands. The Hawaiian King proclaims the origins of the Hawaiian people from the Polynesian navigators.
A great book to fully understand the beginnings of the Hawaiian people. Written and published by the Hawaiian King King David La'amea Kalakaua in 1888. Great book, full of revelations and answers. Hawaiiana, Samoana & Polynesia exposed by a royal Hawaiian King himself, King David Kalakaua. Indeed a masterpiece.
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