Bishop Museum Press Authors

Isabella Aiona Abbott

Isabella Aiona Abbott

Dr. Isabella Aiona Abbott (June 20, 1919 – October 28, 2010) , born in Hāna, Maui, and brought up in Honolulu, was a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools and the Universities of Hawai‘i, Michigan, and California. She and her husband, the late Dr. Donald Putnam Abbott, taught at Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University for thirty years before taking early retirement in Hawai‘i .

Dr. Abbott was a phycologist and author of Marine Red Algae of the Hawaiian Islands and an ethnobotanist and author of La‘au Hawai‘i . For these and 140 shorter publications, she received the National Academy of Science G. M. Smith Medal in 1997. She was an Honorary Research Associate at Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and a member of the Museum's Board of Directors. She was a professor of Biological Sciences, Emerita, at Stanford University and G. P. Wilder Professor of Botany, Emerita, at the University of Hawai‘i.




Sir Peter H. Buck (Te Rangi Hiroa)

Sir Peter H. Buck (Te Rangi Hiroa)

Sir Peter H. Buck (Te Rangi Hiroa), director of the Bishop Museum from 1936 until his death on December 1, 1951, was a remarkable man. Son of a Maori chiefess and an Irish father, he was born in Urenui, New Zealand on August 15, 1880. In a career marked by achievement, he served variously as physician, public servant, elected representative, teacher, administrator, and research scholar. His contributions to Pacific ethnology are those for which he is most noted, but his experience and accomplishments in other fields afforded an unparalleled richness of background, which made his anthropological eminence possible.

Dr. Buck was concentrated on Polynesian arts and crafts because he felt this was a neglected field. His first ethnological paper was on the Maori art of weaving, published in 1911. Dr. Buck expanded his initial interest in Maori arts and crafts to other Polynesian island cultures, notably those of Samoa, the Cook Islands, Kapingamarangi, and Hawai‘i . His meticulous and elaborately illustrated studies led from the relatively mundane factual descriptive treatments of specific features to problems of broad interpretive importance with significance for Pacific island culture history. His final scholarly contribution was Arts and Crafts of Hawai‘i , published in 1957.

Michael Chauvin

Michael Chauvin

Educated at the Universities of Michigan, Hawai‘i , Harvard, and Cambridge, Michael Chauvin has taught astronomy at the University of Hawai‘i , been a lecturer at the Bishop Museum Planetarium, a recipient through the American Astronomical Society of two NASA-funded research awards, and is internationally recognized as a scholar of the history of astronomy in Hawai‘i . He is a founding member of the IAU-IUHPS Inter-Union Commission for the History of Astronomy and a consultant of Commission 41 of the International Astronomical Union.






Ben Finney

Ben Finney

Ben Finney is the author of Hōkūle‘a, the Way to Tahiti (1979), Voyage of Rediscovery (1994), and (with James Houston) Surfing, A History of the Ancient Hawaiian Sport (1996), as well as works on the contemporary Pacific and future human expansion into the cosmos. A recipient of medals from the Royal Institute of Navigation, the Tsiolkovsky Museum, and the French University of the Pacific, he is currently professor emeritus at the University of Hawai‘i , co-chair of the Space and Society Department at the International Space University and distinguished research associate at the Bishop Museum. He lives most of the year in Hawai‘i with his wife Mila.




John Papa Ii

John Papa Ii was a leading citizen of the Hawaiian kingdom during the nineteenth century. Born in 1800 and raised under the traditional kapu system, Ii was trained from earliest childhood for a life of service to the high chiefs. At the age of ten he was taken to Honolulu by his uncle Papa, a kahu, or attendant, of Kamehameha I, to become a companion and personal attendant to Liholiho (later King Kamehameha II). Ii was close to Liholiho during the young heir's instruction in the conduct of government and ancient religious rites.

After Liholiho's death, Ii continued to serve the rulers of Hawai‘i and throughout his life he was in constant contact with the political, religious, and social concerns of the court. I'i was among the first Hawaiians to study reading and writing with the missionaries, yet although he adopted Christian teachings, he retained a profound love and respect for the culture of his ancestors.

Ii served as a general superintendent of O'ahu schools and was an influential member in the court of Kamehameha III. In 1842, he was appointed by the king to the Treasury Board. He served as a member of the Privy Council and in 1845 was appointed to the Board of Land Commissioners. In 1852, Ii represented the House of Nobles in the drafting of the Constitution, and he served from 1846 to 1864 as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of Hawai‘i . Ii died in 1870.

Samuel Manaiakalani Kamakau

Samuel Kamakau

Samuel Manaiakalani Kamakau was one of the prominent native Hawaiian scholars of the 19th century. Kamakau collected and published his research on the history and traditions of his people. He was also District Judge of Wailuku, Maui and served in the Legislature representing Maui and O‘ahu.

Kamakau was born at Mokulē‘ia, Waialua, O‘ahu on October 29, 1815. In 1833 he entered Lahainaluna Seminary where he remained as a pupil and teacher's assistant for seven years under the influence of Reverend Sheldon Dibble. He married S. Hainakolo from Kipahulu, Maui, and moved there several years later. After the birth of his daughter, Kukelani Kaaapookalani, in December 1862, Kamakau returned to O‘ahu.

Kamakau's series on Hawaiian history and culture originally appeared in the weekly Hawaiian language newspapers Ke Au ‘Oko‘a and Ka Nupepa Ku‘ok‘a from 1866-1871. The three series were "Ka Moolelo o Kamehameha I" (History of Kamehameha I), "Ka Moolelo o Na Kamehameha" (History of the Kamehamehas), and "Ka Mooloelo Hawai‘i " (History of Hawai‘i ). Kamehameha Schools Press published the first two series in 1961 under the title Ruling Chiefs of Hawai‘i . His last series was published as three separate titles by Bishop Museum Press: Ka Po'e Kahiko: The People of Old; The Works of the People of Old: Na Hana A Ka Po‘e Kahiko, and Tales and Traditions of the People of Old: Na Mo‘olelo A Ka Po‘e Kahiko.

Lilikalā Kame'eleihiwa

Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa

Lilikalā Kame‘eleihiwa is a professor at the Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. A descendent of the Pi‘ilani lineage of Maui, she believes that her people will never be free from the bonds of U.S. colonialism until they know the traditional wisdom and true history of their ancestors.







David Malo

David Malo

David Malo was the son of Aoao and his wife Heone, and was born at the seaside town of Keauhou, North Kona Hawai‘i. The exact year of his birth cannot be fixed, but it was about 1793. During his early life, Malo was connected with the high chief Kuakini, who was a brother of Queen Ka'ahumanu, and it was during this period specially that he was placed in an environment the most favorable to forming an intimate acquaintance with the history, traditions, legends and myths of old Hawai‘i , as well as with the mele, pule, and oli that belong to the hula and that form so important and prominent a feature in the poesy and unwritten literature of Hawai‘i . Malo came to be in great demand as a raconteur of the old-time traditions, mele, and genealogies, as a master in arrangements of the hula, as well as of the nobler sports of the Hawaiian arena.

In 1823, Malo moved to Lahaina, Maui and came under the influence and instruction of Rev. William Richards, learning how to read and write. Malo soon converted to Christianity and was given the baptismal name of David. After being ordained to the Christian ministry, he settled down in the seaside village of Kalepolepo on East Maui where he remained until his death in October 1853.

Moses Manu

One of the most prolific writers of nineteenth-century Hawaiian moolelo is Maui native Moses Manu Jr., whose first name also appears in print as Mose and Moke. Despite his long and illustrious writing career, little is known today about Moses Manu's life, who he was, how and why he became a writer, or what happened to him after his last known moolelo was published in 1899. What is little known about his life can be gleaned mostly from his own writing and a few other sources.

What is known is that Moses Manu was born in Hana, Maui, in 1837. He spent most of his life living and working in the Hana-Kipahulu area, although he did spend a few years living in Ewa, O‘ahu, when he worked as an editor for the newspaper Ke Au ‘O‘koa in the 1860s. His father, Moses Manu Sr., was from Paofai, Borabora, and was educated at Lahainaluna, a classmate of noted Hawaiian scholar Samuel M. Kamakau. Little is known of his mother.

Manu wrote in a variety of genres, including historical narrative, legendary accounts, dirges, and editorials. From the 1860s through 1900 he published at least thirty-five texts in different categories: foreign tales translated to Hawaiian, traditional Hawaiian kaao (legends), and Hawaiian moolelo (narratives). Most of Manu's works were translated foreign tales from faraway countries like Portugal, England, France, Italy, and Mexico. His Hawaiian kaao recount the stories of famous Hawaiian characters such as the shark Mikololou and Keaomelemele.

Aside from his writing, Manu worked as a poundmaster for the Hawaiian government in the Hana-Kipahulu area, which means that he was responsible for rounding up stray horses and cattle-an interesting second occupation for such a noted writer. It is not known if Manu ever married, or had children, or when he died.

Mary Kawena Pukui

Mary Kawena Pukui

Born in the rural district of Ka‘ū on the island of Hawai‘i in April of 1895, Kawena grew up with the Hawaiian culture of her mother as well as the cultural sphere of her father, an American from Salem, Massachusetts. The first six years of her life was spent with her Hawaiian grandmother, Nali‘ipo‘aimoku, who instilled in her a lifelong passion for her Hawaiian heritage. Kawena was taught the Hawaiian language and countless chants, hula, sayings, and stories. After the death of her grandmother, Kawena returned to her parents' home, where her dual education accelerated. Her mother spoke to her only in Hawaiian and her father only in English.

Barely into her teens, Kawena began to collect the stories and traditions of her Hawaiian culture, fearful that they might be lost in the sea of change swirling through Hawai‘i . She jotted down sayings and stories given to her by family and friends. Her notes became the foundation for her books, as well as for precious files of chant texts and ethnographic data now preserved in the archives of the Bishop Museum.

Pukui took scrupulous care to tell and record mo'olelo (stories) just as she had heard them. "Some people heard stories and then rewrote them in a Western sense," her daughter, Patience Namakauahoaokawena Wiggin Bacon, noted. "As a result, a lot was lost. That was not my mother's style. She always said, 'I'm speaking from my own doorway and not anybody else's.' You speak only of things that you know. You don't take from elsewhere." This fidelity, which characterized all of Pukui's scholarship, makes her stories especially valuable.

The publication of her folktales was the beginning of a distinguished writing career for Pukui that would greatly enrich the field of Hawaiian scholarship. Working with other collaborators, she contributed substantially to both scholarly and public understanding of Hawaiian cultural practices and beliefs. The crowning event in her career came in 1983, three years before her death, with the publication of her treasury of Hawaiian expressions, ‘Ōlelo No‘eau: Hawaiian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings. By that time Pukui was a highly sought-after kumu (source or teacher) of Hawaiian knowledge. She was held in high esteem as a cultural expert, a translator, a genealogist, a kumu hula, and a teacher and lecturer. For more than five decades she worked with Bishop Museum-translating, compiling research, and conducting anthropological fieldwork. She entrusted her knowledge to be a part of the legacy preserved and shared by the museum.

John Randall

John E. Randall

Dr. John E. Randall is one of the world's foremost ichthyologists. He obtained his B.S. degree, and a Phi Beta Kappa key, at UCLA in 1950. He then sailed his 37-foot ketch "Nani" to Hawai‘i for a position as a teaching assistant in zoology at the University of Hawai‘i where he met and married another teaching assistant in zoology, Helen Au. After finishing graduate study, they sailed to Tahiti with support of a research fellowship from Yale University and the Bishop Museum. His first academic position was at the Marine Laboratory of the University of Miami. Four years later he accepted a position as Professor of Zoology at the University of Puerto Rico and Director of the Institute of Marine Biology.

He returned to Hawai‘i in 1965 as Director of the Oceanic Institute; a year later he shifted to half-time positions at the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology of the University of Hawai‘i and the Bishop Museum. In 1970 he was full time at the Museum but has remained on the Graduate Faculty in Zoology of the University of Hawai‘i . As one of the pioneers of a new generation of scuba-diving biologists, he has contributed more towards the classification and identification of coral reef fishes than anyone during the past century. He has published nearly 600 scientific papers and semipopular articles on marine biology, mainly on tropical fishes, as well as guidebooks on fishes of Hawai‘i , the Caribbean Sea, Red Sea, Maldive Islands, Great Barrier Reef, and Oman. He has described 19 new genera and 514 new species of fishes, far more than any other living ichthyologist.

Dietrich Varez

Dietrich Varez, a native of Berlin, moved to Hawai‘i at the age of eight and has been immersed in local culture ever since. A pioneering artist and illustrator of Hawaiian material, Varez is known for his handsome linocut prints.

Varez illustrated Mary Kawena Pukui's landmark ‘Ōlelo No‘eau, as well as The Water of Life, The Kamapua'a Literature, and other books. He received his Bachelor's degree in English in 1962 from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, and his work is steeped in his study of local tradition and history. Varez specializes in creating art for a broad, popular audience. He lives with his wife, Linda, in a house he built in Volcano, Hawai‘i .

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