81 books like Hawaiian Antiquities

By David Malo,

Here are 81 books that Hawaiian Antiquities fans have personally recommended if you like Hawaiian Antiquities. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of The Polynesian Family System in Ka'u, Hawai'i

Dennis Kawaharada Author Of Storied Landscapes: Hawaiian Literature and Place

From my list on understanding Hawaiian culture before visiting.

Who am I?

I taught traditional Hawaiian literature to college students and established Kalamakū Press in 1990 to publish Hawaiian folktales, narratives, autobiography, and poetry. I also worked for a decade as a writer for the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), a scientific and cultural non-profit that builds and sails double-hulled voyaging canoes to explore how the Polynesians, without modern navigation instruments, found and settled Hawai‘i. Long before Europeans arrived in Hawai‘i, Polynesians discovered and lived sustainably for centuries on an isolated chain of eight islands. The practices and values of the traditional culture have a lot to teach communities struggling to find their way in an overdeveloped, overpopulated world today. 

Dennis' book list on understanding Hawaiian culture before visiting

Dennis Kawaharada Why did Dennis love this book?

Despite the scholarly title, this book is a highly readable account of traditional Hawaiian culture in Ka‘ū, the southernmost district of the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Mary Kawena Pukui (1895–1986) was a preeminent Hawaiian scholar, author, composer, hula expert, and educator. She was born and raised in Ka‘ū, a remote, rural area where the old culture endured outside of the Westernization of the islands. In 1935 she traveled home with anthropologist E.S. Handy to gather information from her elders. Their book provides details and insights about the district’s history and ecology, the legendary setting (gods and spirits), the extended household and kinship system, the life cycle of individuals, manners and customs, and the relationships between people and ancestral spirits and animals.

By E. S. Craighill Handy, Mary Kawena Pukui,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Polynesian Family System in Ka'u, Hawai'i as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This classic book on Hawaiian families and culture is an essential text for anyone interested in pre-American Hawaii.

The Polynesian Family System in Ka-'U, Hawai'i is a collaboration of the distinguished scholars Dr. Mary Puku and Dr. E.S. Craighill Handy. It provides us with this fascinating review of traditional Hawaiian life. Manners and customs relating to birth, death, marriage, sexual practices, religious beliefs, and family relationship are all clearly described. The main sources of information were elderly Hawaiian informants of then remote Kacu district of the island of Hawaii.

This Hawaiian history and culture book provides professional scholars and laymen…


Book cover of Ruling Chiefs of Hawaiʻi

Dennis Kawaharada Author Of Storied Landscapes: Hawaiian Literature and Place

From my list on understanding Hawaiian culture before visiting.

Who am I?

I taught traditional Hawaiian literature to college students and established Kalamakū Press in 1990 to publish Hawaiian folktales, narratives, autobiography, and poetry. I also worked for a decade as a writer for the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), a scientific and cultural non-profit that builds and sails double-hulled voyaging canoes to explore how the Polynesians, without modern navigation instruments, found and settled Hawai‘i. Long before Europeans arrived in Hawai‘i, Polynesians discovered and lived sustainably for centuries on an isolated chain of eight islands. The practices and values of the traditional culture have a lot to teach communities struggling to find their way in an overdeveloped, overpopulated world today. 

Dennis' book list on understanding Hawaiian culture before visiting

Dennis Kawaharada Why did Dennis love this book?

Samuel Manaiakalani Kamakau (1815–1876) was one of the most important and prolific Hawaiian scholars of the nineteenth century. His history of the ruling chiefs of Hawai‘i begins with the high chief ʻUmi, eight generations before Kamehameha I, who established the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1795, and continues to the death of Kamehameha III in 1854. Ruling Chiefs, published in 1961, was translated from Hawaiian newspaper articles that appeared in the 1860s and 1870s. The stories include Captain James Cook’s arrival in 1776, the coming of Western missionaries, and the changes that followed. All of the writings of Kamakau are highly recommended, including The People of Old, The Works of the People of Old, and The Tales and Traditions of the People of Old.

By Samuel M. Kamakau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ruling Chiefs of Hawaiʻi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eighteenth-century Hawaiian historian Samuel Mānaiakalani Kamakau traces Hawaiʻi’s history from ʻUmi, high chief eight generations before Kamehameha I, to the death of Kamehameha III in 1854. This volume covers the arrival of Captain James Cook, the consolidation of the Hawaiian kingdom by Kamehameha I, the coming of the missionaries, and the changes affecting the kingdom through the reign of Kamehameha III.

This history was originally written by Kamakau in Hawaiian as a series of newspaper articles in the 1860s and 1870s. The English translation was completed by a team of esteemed Hawaiian scholars including Mary Kawena Pukui, Thomas G. Thrum,…


Book cover of Hawaiian Fishing Traditions

Dennis Kawaharada Author Of Storied Landscapes: Hawaiian Literature and Place

From my list on understanding Hawaiian culture before visiting.

Who am I?

I taught traditional Hawaiian literature to college students and established Kalamakū Press in 1990 to publish Hawaiian folktales, narratives, autobiography, and poetry. I also worked for a decade as a writer for the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), a scientific and cultural non-profit that builds and sails double-hulled voyaging canoes to explore how the Polynesians, without modern navigation instruments, found and settled Hawai‘i. Long before Europeans arrived in Hawai‘i, Polynesians discovered and lived sustainably for centuries on an isolated chain of eight islands. The practices and values of the traditional culture have a lot to teach communities struggling to find their way in an overdeveloped, overpopulated world today. 

Dennis' book list on understanding Hawaiian culture before visiting

Dennis Kawaharada Why did Dennis love this book?

Hawaiian Fishing Traditions celebrates famous Hawaiian fishermen. Fish was the main source of protein. The first story, by Moke Manu, tells of Kū‘ula-kai, who became deified as a god of fishermen because of his power to control fish. He built the first fishpond, in Hāna, Maui, to supply the chief and people with food. His son ‘Ai‘ai, featured in the second story, continued his father’s good work by locating offshore fishing grounds and teaching the people how to catch fish, practice conservation, and distribute the catch with generosity. Also included are the stories of other legendary fishermen and of battles with man-eating sharks. Two articles in the appendix describe the vast array of traditional fishing methods; a third article gives an anthropological account of the worship of shark gods.

By Moke Manu, Dennis Kawaharada (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hawaiian Fishing Traditions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A celebration of the great fisherman of ancient Hawaii, known for attracting and propagating fish, inventing fishing techniques, and bringing in extraordinary catches.


Book cover of Hawaiki Rising: Hōkūle‘a, Nainoa Thompson, and the Hawaiian Renaissance

Dennis Kawaharada Author Of Storied Landscapes: Hawaiian Literature and Place

From my list on understanding Hawaiian culture before visiting.

Who am I?

I taught traditional Hawaiian literature to college students and established Kalamakū Press in 1990 to publish Hawaiian folktales, narratives, autobiography, and poetry. I also worked for a decade as a writer for the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), a scientific and cultural non-profit that builds and sails double-hulled voyaging canoes to explore how the Polynesians, without modern navigation instruments, found and settled Hawai‘i. Long before Europeans arrived in Hawai‘i, Polynesians discovered and lived sustainably for centuries on an isolated chain of eight islands. The practices and values of the traditional culture have a lot to teach communities struggling to find their way in an overdeveloped, overpopulated world today. 

Dennis' book list on understanding Hawaiian culture before visiting

Dennis Kawaharada Why did Dennis love this book?

How did Polynesians navigate without instruments in voyaging canoes made with stone-age tools to discover and settle an isolated island chain in the middle of the Pacific, over 2,000 miles from their ancestral homelands in Tahiti and the Marquesas? Their navigational practices are lost in time, but the Polynesian Voyaging Society was established in 1975 to explore how it might have been done. Low tells the story of the society’s early work, a marvelous combination of adventure, exploration, and research that contributed to the contemporary revival of the spirit, pride, values, and traditions of the ancient culture. Also highly recommended on this subject are books by the three founders of the Polynesian Voyaging Society: artist and scholar Herb Kawaianui Kane, anthropologist Ben Finney, and writer and waterman Tommy Holmes.

By Sam Low,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hawaiki Rising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Attuned to a world of natural signs-the stars, the winds, the curl of ocean swells-Polynesian explorers navigated for thousands of miles without charts or instruments. They sailed against prevailing winds and currents aboard powerful double canoes to settle the vast Pacific Ocean. And they did this when Greek mariners still hugged the coast of an inland sea, and Europe was populated by stone-age farmers. Yet by the turn of the twentieth century, this story had been lost and Polynesians had become an oppressed minority in their own land. Then, in 1975, a replica of an ancient Hawaiian canoe-Hokule'a-was launched to…


Book cover of Hawaiian Mythology

Patrick Nunn Author Of The Edge of Memory: Ancient Stories, Oral Tradition and the Post-Glacial World

From my list on ancient oral traditions.

Who am I?

Becoming immersed in oral cultures was a massive wake-up call for me! Taught to privilege the written over the spoken word, as most literate people are, it took me years of living in the Pacific Islands, travelling regularly to their remoter parts, to appreciate that people who could neither read nor write could retain huge amounts of information in their heads – and explain it effortlessly. We undervalue orality because we are literate, but that is an irrational prejudice. And as I have discovered from encounters with oral traditions throughout Australia and the Pacific, India, and northwest Europe, not only are oral traditions extensive but may be thousands of years old.

Patrick's book list on ancient oral traditions

Patrick Nunn Why did Patrick love this book?

First published in 1940, Hawaiian Mythology is an astonishingly comprehensive compilation of native Hawaiian stories and beliefs that, had it not been for the systematic – even dogged – efforts of people like Martha Beckwith may have never survived to today. This is a book to dip into, especially if you find yourself in Polynesia. The stories are factual, often unembellished, which allows you a glimpse into the soul of Pacific peoples. This book also explores the connections between (remote) Hawaii and other island groups in the western Pacific whence its people came, bearing oral memories that seeded the geography of Hawaii and directed the nature of its human occupation, probably hundreds of years before Europeans even knew the Pacific Ocean existed.

By Martha Warren Beckwith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hawaiian Mythology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ku and Hina―man and woman―were the great ancestral gods of heaven and earth for the ancient Hawaiians. They were life's fruitfulness and all the generations of mankind, both those who are to come and those already born.

The Hawaiian gods were like great chiefs from far lands who visited among the people, entering their daily lives sometimes as humans or animals, sometimes taking residence in a stone or wooden idol. As years passed, the families of gods grew and included the trickster Maui, who snared the sun, and fiery Pele of the volcano.

Ancient Hawaiians lived by the animistic philosophy…


Book cover of Said the Lady with the Blue Hair: 7 Rules for Success in Direct Sales Wrapped in a Wonderful Lesson for Life

Grant Muller Author Of Top of Heart: How a new approach to business saved my life, and could save yours too

From my list on business that won’t bore you to death.

Who am I?

I’ve been in love with business books since I was a child and I’m also a big fan of great story telling. I didn’t realize until recently that you can have both in one book! Discovering this genre of business books that inspire and delight while passing along new and useful insights was a wonderful surprise for me that I like to share with others. These gripping stories have opened up a whole new world for me and allowed me to learn and apply their lessons much more quickly. It’s simply more fun and easier to remember new wisdom when it’s carried forward in gripping stories.   

Grant's book list on business that won’t bore you to death

Grant Muller Why did Grant love this book?

We meet the protagonist Kai and her daughter Michaela as they navigate some of life’s most difficult moments. They are grieving and lost as Kai struggles to navigate her new life and the dauting prospecting of supporting Michaela all on her own.

Luckily they meet Belle, a wildly successful businesswoman who takes them under her wing as she mentors Kai. Throughout the story, Belle teaches 7 rules that will ensure success for any of us in life and in business.

The book is so compelling that you won’t realize you are learning business principles until you reach the ending with satisfaction and realize that you are smarter and better prepared for having read it. This is another book I simply couldn’t put down!

By Lisa M. Wilber, Jeff C. West,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Said the Lady with the Blue Hair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kai Frazier is a mother raising her ten year-old daughter, Michaela... alone. Happily married for over ten years, never dreaming she would have to build a new life for the two of them – she now faces difficult and unwanted decisions.

On a beach in Hawaii, she encounters Belle, the lady with the blue hair – a most unusual woman. A friendship develops between the two and Kai’s new mentor guides her as she embarks on her journey into the future.

The characters are lovable, realistic and entertaining. The fiction is at times poignant... at times humorous... and always engaging.…


Book cover of 'Ewa Which Way

Lehua Parker Author Of One Boy, No Water

From my list on authentically Hawaiian books for tweens and teens.

Who am I?

Growing up in a kanaka maoli—Native Hawaiian—family in Hawai’i, I hungered for stories centered around island kids and their authentic lived experiences. I scoured classrooms, libraries, and bookstores looking for stories that reflected my reality, but all I ever found were dusty collections of ancient legends, not books that appealed to my sense of wonder or adventure. It’s the reason I wrote the Niuhi Shark Saga trilogy and why I’m so excited to share this collection with you. These books are everything I always wanted to read as a child growing up in Hawai‘i—and more!

Lehua's book list on authentically Hawaiian books for tweens and teens

Lehua Parker Why did Lehua love this book?

This coming-of-age story is powerful, immediate, and like a bloody scraped knee, painfully evocative of the transition between childhood and adulthood. I loved this book for its ability to show all the complicated rules, expectations, and entanglements of being a kid trying to make sense out of adult behavior. Set in ‘Ewa Beach, Hawai‘i, in 1982, Landon and Luke face prejudices of class and race, their parents’ alcohol abuse and valium popping coping mechanisms, and sheer dysfunction. Landon shares his reality with heartbreaking twelve-year-old clarity.   

By Tyler Miranda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 'Ewa Which Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fiction. EWA WHICH WAY is a coming-of-age novel set in the early 1980s, around the time of Hurricane ‘Iwa. The DeSilva family, in economic straits, has suffered the setback of having to move from town to Ewa Beach, and the dissonance between parents impacts the lives of their young sons, Landon and Luke. In addition to humorous moments of growing up local, Portuguese, and Catholic, there are serious underlying themes regarding religion, ethnic tensions, assimilation issues, domestic violence, and the reality that children sometimes need to find their own way in the world at a very young age. With problems…


Book cover of The Best of Bamboo Ridge

Dennis Kawaharada Author Of Local Geography: Essays on Multicultural Hawai'i

From my list on understanding contemporary multicultural Hawai‘i.

Who am I?

I lived most of my life in Hawai‘i’s multiethnic community—an amazing place, where, for the most part, people of diverse ancestries got along. The foundation of tolerance was the culture of Native Hawaiians, who lived isolated from outsiders for centuries before the nineteenth century and thus had few prejudicial ideas about others. The natives generally welcomed them and adopted their beliefs. While confrontations and violence occurred, they were limited, not long-term or widespread. Of course, outsiders brought their racial and cultural prejudices, but, today, with a high rate of intermarriages among all the ethnic groups, Hawai'i is one of the most integrated societies in the world.

Dennis' book list on understanding contemporary multicultural Hawai‘i

Dennis Kawaharada Why did Dennis love this book?

Bamboo Ridge Press was established in 1978 to publish the multiethnic literature of Hawai’i. In this selection the best of its first eight years, the writers, of various ancestries, celebrate their families, cultures, and traditions, but also the cultures and traditions of others—a Hawaiian poet writes about a Tang fisherman; a poet of Chinese-Japanese ancestry and a writer of Puerto Rican ancestry reflect on Hawaiian activism; a white poet features bodhisattvas and Kuan Yin while another dedicates her song to a Hawaiian musician. Native Hawaiian writers are underrepresented in this collection published during a renaissance of Hawaiian culture, but a year earlier, in 1985, Bamboo Ridge also published Mālama: Hawaiian Land and Sea, an anthology of Native Hawaiian writers.

By Eric Chock (editor), Darrell H. Y. Lum (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Best of Bamboo Ridge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Poetry. Fiction. This anthology of fiction and poetry is a good introductory survey of Hawai'i literature. Selected from issues of the first eight years of BAMBOO RIDGE, The Hawaii Writers' Quarterly, it features the work of more than 50 writers and includes an introduction by the editors as well as an essay on Asian american literature in Hawai'i by Stephen Sumida.


Book cover of From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaii

Jasmin Iolani Hakes Author Of Hula

From my list on nonfiction to read before your Hawaii vacation.

Who am I?

My passion to write about Hawaiʻi began with a desire to see the world that I knew and loved reflected in literary form, complete with all its complexities and nuance. Growing up alongside Hawaiʻi’s sovereignty movement, there was so much I didn’t understand. School textbooks didn’t mention Hawaiʻi. The little I learned about our culture and history was from dancing hula. So when I started reading some of the books on this list, it put all of my memories into context. Everything about my home became clearer to see (and therefore write about). The true beauty of Hawaiʻi exists behind its postcard image, and this is how you get there!

Jasmin's book list on nonfiction to read before your Hawaii vacation

Jasmin Iolani Hakes Why did Jasmin love this book?

In the ’70s through the early ’90s, Hawaiʻi went through massive social change.

There was a growing consciousness of the manipulation and exploitation that had accompanied Hawaiʻi’s colonization. With that came a collective desire to right the wrongs of history.

Trask describes the institutional racism, discrimination, and closed doors she faced as she attempted to forge a path for Native Hawaiian studies at the University of Hawaiʻi while participating in a growing movement against continued occupation. 

While working on my book, some suggested I soften the political thread woven within the story. It was Trask’s essay “Lovely Hula Hands” (a chapter of From a Native Daughter) that encouraged me to stay true to the portrayal of Hawaiʻi that countered the unflawed, pristine playground image sold to tourists.

Written at a time when Hawai’i’s history was still being glossed over, Trask’s interviews and essays provide an unapologetic perspective and…

By Haunani-Kay Trask,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked From a Native Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This revised text includes material that builds on issues and concerns raised in the first edition. It explores issues of native Hawaiian student organizing at the University of Hawaii, the master plan of the native Hawaiian self-governing organization Ka Lahuni Hawaii and its platform on the four political arenas of sovereignty, the 1989 Hawaii declaration of the Hawaii ecumenical coalition on tourism, and a typology on racism and imperialism. Brief introductions to each of the essays bring them up to date and situate them in the native Hawaiian rights discussion.


Book cover of Diamond Head

Linda Ulleseit Author Of The Aloha Spirit

From my list on historical fiction about Hawaii.

Who am I?

I live in California and write novels based on my grandmother’s stories of our female ancestors. I love tales of everyday women who lived normal lives (according to them) but were quite remarkable to my 21st-century eyes. I wrote The Aloha Spirit about my husband’s grandmother, who was an amazing woman. His family is from Hawaii, and we visit there frequently. Anyone who spends time in the islands experiences the warm welcome of the people, which we know as the aloha spirit. I know Grandma had a difficult life, and I wrote the novel to explore how she might have overcome those difficulties to find her aloha spirit.

Linda's book list on historical fiction about Hawaii

Linda Ulleseit Why did Linda love this book?

Frank Leong is a wealthy shipping industrialist who moves his family from China to Oahu at the turn of the nineteenth century. Frank is murdered, which completely destroys his family. Whispers of an ancient parable haunt the Leongs, of a red string that connects someone to their perfect match but can also punish for mistakes in love. Frank’s pregnant teenage granddaughter, Theresa, is the next target to suffer from her family’s curse. The story is told from multiple points of view in this tragic multigenerational story of secrets and betrayal. My own interest in family history made this novel resonate deeply within me as several generations of women fail in their relationships.

By Cecily Wong,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Diamond Head as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Diamond Head is an intricate meditation on what is in our control and what is fate—and on whether children must bear the costs of their parents’ mistakes.” —Celeste Ng, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere

At the turn of the nineteenth century, Frank Leong, a fabulously wealthy shipping industrialist, moves his family from China to the island of Oahu. But something ancient follows the Leongs to Hawaii, haunting them. The parable of the red string of fate, the cord that binds one intended beloved to her perfect match, also punishes…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Hawaii, necromancy, and the Pearl Harbor attack?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Hawaii, necromancy, and the Pearl Harbor attack.

Hawaii Explore 51 books about Hawaii
Necromancy Explore 30 books about necromancy
The Pearl Harbor Attack Explore 23 books about the Pearl Harbor attack