Publications

The following is an excerpt of publications by faculty of Kawaihuelani Center For Hawaiian Language:

ancestralAncestral Places explores the deep connections that ancestral Kanaka (Native Hawaiians) enjoyed with their environment. It honors the mo‘olelo (historical accounts) of the ancestral places of our kupuna (ancestors), and reveals how these mo‘olelo and our relationships with the ‘aina (land) inform a Kanaka sense of place. Katrina-Ann R. Kapa‘anaokalaokeola Nakoa Oliveira elucidates a Kanaka geography and provides contemporary scholars with insights regarding traditional culture—including the ways in which Kanaka utilize cartographic performances to map our ancestral places and retain our mo‘olelo, such as reciting creation accounts, utilizing nuances embedded in language, and dancing hula. A Kanaka by birth, a kumu ‘olelo Hawai‘i (language teacher) by profession, and a geographer by training, Oliveira’s interests intersect at the boundary where words and place-making meet her ancestral land. Thus, Ancestral Places imbues the theoretical with sensual practice. The book’s language moves fluidly between Hawaiian and English, terms are nimbly defined, and the work of the field is embodied: geographic layers are enacted within the text, new understandings created—not just among lexica, but amidst illustrations, charts, terms, and poetry. In Ancestral Places, Oliveira reasserts both the validity of ancestral knowledge systems and their impact in modernity. Her discussion of Kanaka geographies encompasses the entire archipelago, offering a new framework in Kanaka epistemology.

HiiakaikapoliopeleThis ancient saga, translated to English for the first time, details the quest of Pele’s younger sister, Hi’iakaikapoliopele, to find the handsome Lohi’auipo and bring him back to their crater home. Graced with a magical skirt and wielding supernatural powers, Hi’iaka and her companions make their way through dangers and ordeals, facing spectral foes and worldly wiles. It is a very human account of love and lust, jealousy and justice, peopled with deities, demons, chiefs and commoners. This captivating five-hundred-page translation of Ho’ oulumahiehie’s original, articulated with 375 chants and lavish illustrations, showcases his profound cultural knowledge and engaging style for English audiences. It highlights Hi iaka’s role as a healer, source of inspiration, and icon of the hula traditions that embody the chants and dances of Pele and Hi’iaka. This is the most extensive form of the story every documented, offering a wealth of detail and insights about social and religious practices, poetry and hula, the healing arts, and many other Hawaiian customs. This magnificent work is also available in a volume presented exclusively in the Hawaiian language.

‘Ike no i ka lā o ka ‘ike; mana no i ka lā o ka mana.

Know in the day of knowing; mana in the day of mana.

Knowledge and mana—each has its day. Another day may bring greater knowledge and greater mana than today.