Ka Poe Kahiko: The People of Old

Ka Poe Kahiko: The People of Old

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In Ka Poe Kahiko, Kamakau documents fundamental principles underlying the daily activities of Hawaiian life. He focuses on the spiritual and religious aspects of Hawaiian society, including a description of its class structure. The closing chapters discuss traditional medical practices, and briefly explore magic and sorcery. A devout Christian, Kamakau approaches old beliefs with a complex mixture of traditional and Christian thought.

The text is translated and edited from a series of articles Kamakau produced for the Hawaiian-langauge newspapers Ku‘oko‘a and Ke Au ‘Oko‘a between 1866 and 1871. Subsequent volumes in this series include The Works of the People of Old: Na Hana a ka Poe Kahiko and Tales and Traditions of the People of Old: Na Moolelo a ka Poe Kahiko also published by Bishop Museum Press.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012828262
Publisher: Bishop Museum Press
Publication date: 12/01/1964
Series: Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Special Publication , #51
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 660,056
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Samuel Kamakau, a Hawaiian scholar born on Oahu, was enrolled at the age of 17 in Lahainaluna Seminary on Maui. A brilliant student with a remarkable memory and a keen, insightful mind, Kamakau became a protege of Lahainaluna's Rev. Sheldon Dibble. Dibble urged his students to maintain an interest in their own culture, and with the aim of collecting first-hand accounts from native Hawaiians, formed the Islands' first historical society. Kamakau served as treasurer of the short-lived society and thus began a lifelong academic involvement with the history and traditions of his people.

Kamakau later taught at Lahainaluna and served in various official posts, including that of district judge of Wailuku. Eventually returning to Oahu, he was active in politics, serving several terms in the Legislature as a representative of various districts on Maui and Oahu. He married S. Hainakolo, and together they raised several children.

Kamakau's continuing interest in the history and culture of his people led him to write several series of articles. Published originally in Hawaiian-language newspapers during the 1860s and 1870s, translations of these articles have become important tools for the modern student of Hawaiian culture. Collected and edited, they have been published as Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii, Ka Poe Kahiko: The People of Old, The Works of the People of Old: Na Hana a ka Poe Kahiko, and Tales and Traditions of the People of Old: Na Moolelo a ka Poe Kahiko. Kamakau is among the most significant native Hawaiian historians of the 19th century.

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