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Legends of the Wailuku   By:

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Legends of the Wailuku by Charlotte Hapai is a beautifully written collection of folk tales that transports readers to the enchanting world of Hawaiian mythology. Through a seamless blend of traditional storytelling and modern narrative techniques, Hapai succeeds in capturing the essence of Hawaiian culture, history, and spirituality.

The book is divided into several sections, each focusing on a different legend from the Wailuku region. Hapai expertly weaves together various narrative threads, encompassing mythical deities, brave heroes, and breathtaking adventures. The author's vivid descriptions create a palpable sense of place, immersing readers in the lush landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and ancient temples that serve as the backdrop for these captivating tales.

What truly sets Legends of the Wailuku apart is Hapai's ability to infuse her stories with profound lessons and moral teachings. As readers follow the journeys of gods and humans alike, they are confronted with timeless themes of love, sacrifice, and the struggle between good and evil. Each legend serves as a parable, offering valuable insights and reflections on the human experience.

Furthermore, Hapai's writing style is both lyrical and evocative, making the oral tradition of storytelling come alive on the pages. The dialogues between characters ring true, incorporating Hawaiian dialect and cultural nuances, enriching the authenticity of the narratives. It is evident that Hapai conducted extensive research and drew inspiration from the vibrant oral tradition of her ancestors, and this knowledge shines through in her writing.

Legends of the Wailuku is a book that not only captivates with its enthralling stories but also educates and enlightens readers on the depth and richness of Hawaiian folklore. Hapai's dedication to preserving and sharing these legends is commendable, as it ensures that this integral part of Hawaiian heritage continues to flourish.

In conclusion, Legends of the Wailuku is a remarkable collection of folk tales that celebrates the vibrant tapestry of Hawaiian mythology. Charlotte Hapai's masterful storytelling, exquisite writing, and profound understanding of her cultural heritage make this book a must-read for anyone who appreciates folk tales, mythology, or world literature.

First Page:




Paradise of the Pacific Print

[Illustration: Drawn by Will Herwig. Paradise Eng.

Hina's Spirit Still Lives in the Mists of Rainbow Falls.]




As told by old Hawaiians and done into the English tongue by Charlotte Hapai

Illustrated by Will Herwig

To remember our happy hours of story telling, this printed fragment is in gratitude dedicated to my grandmother, Harriet Kamakanoenoe Hapai.


Fed from the great watershed of Hawaii far up the densely wooded flanks of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea often snow capped in winter the Wailuku River roars through the very center of Hilo, principal town of the Island of Hawaii.

There are many vague stories as to why the Wailuku River was so named. In the Hawaiian tongue Wailuku means literally "destroying water."

In olden times before there were bridges and other safeguards the river wrought considerable damage to property and during the rainy season it took its toll of human lives. Legends connected with the Wailuku tend to confirm the belief that it was named for its violent habits.

Long ago, so one legend goes, the much dreaded Kuna (dragon) blocked the gorge below Rainbow Falls with intent to back the waters up and drown the goddess Hina, who dwelt in the great cave for which the falls form a curtain... Continue reading book >>

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