wrote this “textbook” because he wanted to captivate Hawaiian students
(of all ages), bring their environment alive and not bore them in the
process. He succeeds very well because he doesn’t attempt to cover everything
that’s alive in Hawai`i, but instead concentrates on a few prime examples
of animals, concepts and processes. When he’s explaining a topic or an
animal, he fully explores their Hawaiian cultural significance as well.
Topics include the now rare O`ahu Tree Snail, Hawaiian Turtles, the Hawaiian
`Alala (crow), “Hawaiian Settlement: Human Intrusions,” and the dog as
food (our aversion to that is cultural, you know). No Hawaiian natural
history would be complete without covering the pig, the gecko and the
cockroach - they’re all there. Eyre’s book closes with a very good chapter
on “Aloha `Aina - Responsible Stewardship” and two chapters about people
who have demonstrated such stewardship for Hawaii’s culture and her wildlife.
This book is essential reading for anyone who is interested or concerned
about Hawaii’s natural environment - resident and visitor alike.
published in 1970 by the Bishop Museum, this is one of the classics on
Hawaiian Petroglyphs, and still very useful today. There are petroglyphs
throughout Polynesia, but they are the most prolific in Hawai`i, especially
on the Big Island. The book is divided into sections, as follows:
1) SITES - general discussion; 2) The PETROGLYPH in CULTURAL CONTEXT -
lots of cultural information; 3) TECHNIQUES - how they were made, including
changes brought about with iron tools; 4) COMPOSITION - types of figures;
5) IMAGERY and SYMBOLISM; 6) MYTHS and LEGENDS; 7) PETROGLYPHS as ART.
There is also a comprehensive (for 1970) list of sites with very complete
directions and maps. The book is easy to read, well organized and
has lots of good photographs and drawings.
you want just ONE book on Hawaii's plants, then we recommend this one
!! For one thing, the photographs are absolutely beautiful.
Many plant guides are difficult to use because they rely on hand-made
drawings or poor quality photographs, making identifying plants difficult.
Ms. Kepler's book is outstanding because it's somewhere in between a guidebook
and a natural history book. In the process of describing 37 of
Hawaii's most significant plants, she manages to give you a complete sense
of the plant's origins, it's historical and current uses, and it's cultural
significance! All of this is interwoven with "talk-story"
(Hawaiian storytelling). This is a great book with an unbelievable
amount of fascinating material crammed into it's 150 pages. Our
copy is a glossy paperback that is out of print. What is available
now is a brand-new hardback that ought to be simply gorgeous.
that you begin to notice right away in Krauss' book is that plants that
we think of predominantly in terms of food or crafts actually had medicinal
uses (like hala, taro, ti, sugar cane, koa, guava, kukui, seaweed, banana,
mountain apple and sweet potato). Other interesting tidbits emerge as
you read about each plant. For example, the word pupu (commonly used for
"hors d`oeuvre" here) originally referred to a piece of banana
that was eaten while drinking `awa (which is a tad unpalatable until you
get used to it). Coral cuts are notorious for becoming infected. The next
time you get a coral cut while snorkeling, snag a length of floating limu
(seaweed), chew it and put it on the wound! The current fad of pushing
noni as a cure for everything has little basis in historical Hawai`i -
the plant's primary use was as a dye for tapa cloth. So
. you say
you want to know how the Hawaiians used the sweet potato medicinally?
How about for inducing vomiting, treating asthma, clearing up chest congestion,
curing insomnia and increasing a nursing mother's milk supply - not too
bad for a common food! This book is a fun, quick read and good to have
on hand for reference.
natural history of Hawaii covers "Geology. Climate, Native Flora
and Fauna above the shoreline." It is published by the Pacific
Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai. This is a very scholarly book,
but it's still very interesting reading for anyone interested in Hawaii's
flora and fauna. It has very good chapters on geology, climate,
and then heads directly into discussions of Hawaii's unique plants and
animals, how they arrived in Hawaii and how they evolved (or didn't).
The book is very comprehensive, and while the photographs are predominantly
black & white, there are LOTS of them and they add a lot to the text.
Even though this book is fairly scientific, it's easy to read and filled
with fascinating information.
If you are familiar with the "Roadside
Geology" series, then you basically already know what's in this book!
On the other hand, if you're not familiar with them, let me fill you in.
As is typical of all of the books in this series, this one uses views
from and readouts along major roads in the islands to explain the geology
of the Hawaiian Islands. By adding in very good explanatory maps
and diagrams, Roadside Geology gives the amateur geologist
of geographer a very thorough and engaging picture of Hawaii's geology.
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