Hawaiian Antiquities : Moolelo Hawaii by David Malo
Hawaiian Antiquities (1898) is an ethnography by David Malo. Originally published in 1838, Hawaiian Antiquities, or Moolelo Hawaii, was updated through the end of Malo’s life and later translated into English by Nathaniel Bright Emerson, a leading scholar of Hawaiian mythology. As the culmination of Malo’s research on Hawaiian history, overseen by missionary Sheldon Dibble, Hawaiian Antiquities was the first in-depth written history of the islands and its people.
“The ancients left no records of the lands of their birth, of what people drove them out, who were their guides and leaders, of the canoes that transported them, what lands they visited in their wanderings, and what gods they worshipped. Certain oral traditions do, however, give us the names of the idols of our ancestors.” As inheritor of this ancient oral tradition, David Malo, a recent Christian convert who studied reading and writing with missionaries, provides an essential introduction to the genealogies, history, traditions, and stories of his people.
Engaging with the legends passed down from ancient generations as well as the flora and fauna of the islands in his own day, Malo links the Hawaii of the past to the world in which he lived, a time of political and religious change introduced by missionaries from the newly formed United States. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of David Malo’s Hawaiian Antiquities is a classic work of Hawaiian literature reimagined for modern readers.