Goditi milioni di eBook, audiolibri, riviste e tanto altro ancora con una prova gratuita

Solo $11.99/mese al termine del periodo di prova. Cancella quando vuoi.

Hawaiian Mythology
Hawaiian Mythology
Hawaiian Mythology
E-book580 pagine11 ore

Hawaiian Mythology

Valutazione: 0 su 5 stelle

()

Leggi anteprima

Info su questo ebook

This is Martha Beckwith's monumental study of Hawaiian mythology. Beckwith utilized numerous texts which are today rare or hard to obtain to construct this study. She gives all available variants of each myth or legend, including versions from other Pacific islands including Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa and others. This is primarily a critical edition of the key Hawaiian myths, and Beckwith largely does not attempt to interpret the texts, rather to examine both variant narratives and core folklore motifs. The book covers every significant theme in Hawaiian mythology, from the origin myths of the Hawaiian gods and goddesses, to more recent legends of star-crossed lovers. She also covers such topics as Kahunas (sorcerors) and Menehunes (fairies)
LinguaItaliano
Data di uscita19 giu 2017
ISBN9788892670556
Hawaiian Mythology
Leggi anteprima
Autore

Martha Warren Beckwith

Martha Warren Beckwith (1871-1959) was an American folklorist and ethnographer. Born in Wellesley Heights, Massachusetts, Beckwith attended Mount Holyoke College before graduating with a Master’s degree in anthropology from Columbia University in 1906. In 1920, having earned her PhD, she became the chair of Vassar College’s Folklore program. Specializing in Hawaiian, Jamaican, and Native American cultures, Beckwith published numerous collections of proverbs, folk stories, myths, and ethnographies from her extensive research, often conducted with renowned ethnomusicologist Helen H. Roberts.

Correlato a Hawaiian Mythology

Ebook correlati

Articoli correlati

Recensioni su Hawaiian Mythology

Valutazione: 0 su 5 stelle
0 valutazioni

0 valutazioni0 recensioni

Cosa ne pensi?

Tocca per valutare

La recensione deve contenere almeno 10 parole

    Anteprima del libro

    Hawaiian Mythology - Martha Warren Beckwith

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    PREFACE

    PART ONE: THE GODS

    I COMING OF THE GODS

    II KU GODS

    III THE GOD LONO

    IV THE KANE WORSHIP

    V KANE AND KANALOA

    VI MYTHICAL LANDS OF THE GODS

    VII LESSER GODS

    VIII SORCERY GODS

    IX GUARDIAN GODS

    X THE SOUL AFTER DEATH

    PART TWO. CHILDREN OF THE GODS

    XI THE PELE MYTH

    XII THE PELE SISTERS

    XIII PELE LEGENDS

    XIV KAMAPUA‘A

    XV HINA MYTHS

    XVI MAUI THE TRICKSTER

    XVII AIKANAKA-KAHA‘I CYCLE

    XVIII WAHIELOA-LAKA CYCLE

    XIX HAUMEA

    PART THREE. THE CHIEFS

    XX PAPA AND WAKEA

    XXI GENEALOGIES

    XXII ERA OF OVERTURNING

    XXIII MU AND MENEHUNE PEOPLE

    XXIV RUNNERS, MAN-EATERS, DOG-MEN

    XXV THE MOIKEHA-LA‘A MIGRATION

    XXVI HAWAIILOA AND PAAO MIGRATIONS

    XXVII RULING CHIEFS

    XXVIII USURPING CHIEFS

    PART FOUR. HEROES AND LOVERS IN FICTION

    XXIX KUPUA STORIES

    XXX TRICKSTER STORIES

    XXXI VOYAGE TO THE LAND OF THE GODS

    XXXII RIDDLING CONTESTS

    XXXIII THE KANA LEGEND

    XXXIV THE STRETCHING-TREE KUPUA

    XXXV ROMANCE OF THE SWIMMER

    XXXVI ROMANCE OF THE ISLAND OF VIRGINS

    XXXVII ROMANCES OF MATCH-MAKING

    XXXVIII ROMANCES OF THE DANCE

    XXXIX WOOING ROMANCES

    REFERENCES

    Hawaiian Mythology

    By

    Martha Warren Beckwith

    1940

    © David De Angelis 2017 – all rights reserved

    PREFACE

    THIS guide to the native mythology of Hawaii has grown out of a childhood and youth spent within sound of the hula drum at the foot of the domelike House of the Sun on the windy island of Maui. There, wandering along its rocky coast and sandy beaches, exploring its windward gorges, riding above the cliffs by moonlight when the surf was high or into the deep forests at midday, we were aware always of a life just out of reach of us latecomers but lived intensely by the kindly, generous race who had chanced so many centuries ago upon its shores.

    Not before 1914 did the actual shaping of the work begin. The study covers, as any old Hawaiian will discover, less than half the story, but it may serve to start specific answers to the problems here raised and to distinguish the molding forces which have entered into the recasting of such traditional story-telling as has survived the first hundred years of foreign contact.

    To the general student of mythology the number and length of proper names in an unfamiliar tongue may seem confusing. Hawaiian proper names are rarely made up of a single word but rather form a series of words recalling some incident or referring to some characteristic significant of the person or place designated.

    To a personal name an epithet may be affixed, such as o ka lani which means literally of the heavens but is translated by Hawaiians by the term heavenly as a title of endearment or adoration.

    The name of the parent is often added with the causal possessive a meaning child of, as in Umi-a-Liloa, which may be read Umi, child of Liloa. In many cases the definite article ka becomes a part of the name and hence the preponderance in Hawaiian of names beginning with this syllable.

    Since recognition of its composition is essential to its proper accent, in cases where this is known with a good degree of probability through native informants, the name has been hyphenated upon its first appearance and occasionally throughout.

    With the analysis of the name in mind, the pronunciation offers little difficulty. There are no silent letters. Theoretically at least, each vowel represents a distinct sound; each consonant is voiced as a distinct syllable ending in a vowel sound. Words written alike but different in meaning are to be distinguished, however, only by their spoken accent, as Ka-u', Thebreast, which names a district on Hawaii, and ka‘u for the summer season. A third form, ka‘u, for the possessive pronoun of the first person singular, pronounced with a glottal stop, is written with the inverted apostrophe called a hamzah, indicative of a lost consonant sound in the k range.

    Besides the five vowel sounds, pronounced as in Italian, only seven consonants were recognized in the reduction of the language to writing by the early American missionaries and these do not differ from the same signs in English; the shifting of l to r, k to t, p to f, and w to v characteristic of various Polynesian dialects and recognized in the oral speech of old Hawaiians is hence ignored in the written form.

    The effect upon Hawaiian speech of this melodious heaping up of sound without articulation is altogether pleasing and lends itself easily to the chanting of long poetical recitations such as Hawaiians of the old days delighted in, as in the shorter and more varied poetry of dance and celebration.

    My thanks are here rendered to the trustees, director, and staff of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu for their aid and co-operation; to the president, trustees, and faculty of Vassar College for their interest in and recognition of the work of the Folklore Foundation under which, since 1920, this work has been carried on; and to Professors Franz Boas and William Witherle Lawrence of Columbia University, whose encouragement and advice have been so often and so generously given.

    There are also many names to be recalled with grateful remembrance of those who have contributed directly toward the making of this book: Joseph Emerson, Stephen Desha, Mary Pukui and her mother Mrs. Wiggin, Emma Olmsted, Laura Green, Pokini Robinson, Ernest and Pearl Beaglehole, Kenneth Emory, Katharine Luomala, Frank Stimson, David Malo Kupihea, Peter Buck, Edward Handy, Margaret Titcomb, Thomas Wahiako, Daniel Ho‘olapa, Hattie Saffrey Rhinehardt, Emma Taylor, Rachel Kekela Kaiwiaia, Jonah Kaiwiaia, Kilinahi Kaleo, William Pogue, Hezekiah Ikoa, Lyle Dickey, Ethel Damon, Marie Neal, Lahilahi Webb.

    Finally, thanks are especially due for the unstinting care of the publishers under whose expert hands the laborious task of setting up so composite a mass of material in convenient form for reference has been successfully achieved.

    PART ONE: THE GODS

    I

    COMING OF THE GODS

    HOW traditional narrative art develops orally among a nature-worshiping people like the Polynesians can be best illustrated by surveying the whole body of such art among a single isolated group like the Hawaiian with reference to the historical background reflected in the stories and to similar traditions among allied groups in the South Seas. Something of the slant of thought upon which society is regulated must be realized as it is brought out in particular instances. For this purpose a division of the subject into stories of gods and ghosts, of ancestors as they appear in the genealogies of chiefs, and of fiction in the form of legend and romance has been here adopted, although one form often overlaps another.

    Hawaiians use the term kaao for a fictional story or one in which fancy plays an important part, that of moolelo for a narrative about a historical figure, one which is supposed to follow historical events. Stories of the gods are moolelo. They are distinguished from secular narrative not by name, but by the manner of telling. Sacred stories are told only by day and the listeners must not move in front of the speaker; to do so would be highly disrespectful to the gods. Folktale in the form of anecdote, local legend, or family story is also classed under moolelo. It is by far the most popular form of story-telling surviving today and offers a rich field for further investigation, but since no systematic collecting has been done in this most difficult of forms for the foreign transcriber, it is represented here only incidentally when a type tale has become standardized in folklore. Nor can the distinction between kaao as fiction and moolelo as fact be pressed too closely. It is rather in the intention than in the fact. Many a so-called moolelo which a foreigner would reject as fantastic nevertheless corresponds with the Hawaiian view of the relation between nature and man. A kaao, although often making adroit use of traditional and amusing episodes, may also proceed quite naturally, the distinction being that it is consciously composed to tickle the fancy rather than to inform the mind as to supposed events.

    The Hawaiians worshiped nature gods and these gods entered to a greater or less extent into all the affairs of daily life, played a dominant part in legendary history, and furnished a rich imaginative background for the development of fictional narrative. Hence the whole range of storytelling is included in the term mythology. Among Hawaiians the word for god (akua) is of indeterminate usage. Thus any object of nature may be a god; so may a dead body or a living person or a made image, if worshiped as a god. Every form of nature has its class god, who may become aumakua or guardian god of a family into which an offspring of the god is born, provided the family worship such an offspring with prayer and offerings. The name kupua is given to such a child of a god when it is born into the family as a human being. The power of a kupua is limited to the district to which he belongs. In story he may be recognized by a transformation body in the form of animal or plant or other natural object belonging to him through his divine origin, and by more than natural powers through control over forms of nature which serve him because of family descent. As a human being he is preternaturally strong and beautiful or ugly and terrible. The name comes from the word kupu as applied to a plant that sprouts from a parent stock, as in the word kupuna for an ancestor. So the word ohana, used to designate a family group, refers to the shoots (oha) which grow up about a root-stock. The terms akua, aumakua, and kupua are as a matter of fact interchangeable, their use depending upon the attitude of the worshiper. An akua may become an aumakua of a particular family. A person may be represented in story as a kupua during his life and an aumakua if worshiped after death. A ghost (lapu) is called an akua lapu to designate those tricky spirits who frighten persons at night. Nonhuman spirits who dwell in the myriad forms of nature are the little gods (akua li‘i) regularly invoked in prayers for protection. Little gods who made not heaven and earth they were called in contempt, after the introduction of Christianity had brought the scientific viewpoint to the contemplation of the forms and forces of nature.

    An animistic philosophy thus conditions the Hawaiian's whole conception of nature and of life. Much that seems to us wildest fancy in Hawaiian story is to him a sober statement of fact as he interprets it through the interrelations of gods with nature and with man. Another philosophic concept comes out in his way of accommodating himself as an individual to the physical universe in which he finds himself placed. He arrives at an organized conception of form through the pairing of opposites, one depending upon the other to complete the whole. So ideas of night and day, light and darkness, male and female, land and water, rising and setting (of the sun), small and large, little and big, hard and light (of force), upright and prostrate (of position), upward and downward, toward and away from (the speaker) appear paired in repeated reiteration as a stylistic element in composition of chants, and function also in everyday language, where one of a pair lies implicit whenever its opposite is used in reference to the speaker. It determines the order of emergence in the socalled chant of creation, where from lower forms of life emerge offspring on a higher scale and water forms of life are paired with land forms until the period of the gods (po) is passed and the birth of the great gods and of mankind ushers in the era of light (ao). It appears in the recitation by rote of genealogies in which husbands and wives are paired through literally hundreds of generations. It is notable that in similar genealogies such as the Hebrew, in which, as introduced by the missionaries, Hawaiians showed extraordinary interest, males alone are recorded.

    Gods are represented in Hawaiian story as chiefs dwelling in far lands or in the heavens and coming as visitors or immigrants to some special locality in the group sacred to their worship. Of the great gods worshiped throughout Polynesia, Ku, Kane, Lono, and Kanaloa were named to the early missionaries. They are invoked together in chant, as in the lines:

    A distant place lying in quietness

    For Ku, for Lono, for Kane and Kanaloa. They are recognized by the appearance of whatever natural phenomena have been associated with their worship by tradition or ritual custom, as color, scent, cloud or rainbow forms, storm signs, and the notes of birds. Each had a place in family worship. The first three, at all events, had, by the time of Captain Cook's landing, been drawn into the national temple worship.

    Subordinate gods attached to the families of the great gods were invoked by those who hoped to gain through them special skills or success in some particular form of activity. Even thieves had their patron god. Some of the names of these departmental gods as recorded in Hawaii are to be found attached to South Sea deities; others are of native origin. The elaborate cycle of story centering about the family of the fire goddess Pele of the volcano bears every mark of such local development.

    The original character of these great gods is hard to determine. Buck thinks they were of human origin, chiefs whose superior ability in life or the mystery which surrounded them on earth led to their deification after their death or disappearance. I believe that they were at first conceived as nature deities of universal significance, like Pele, and their identification with a particular human being, perhaps as an incarnation of the god, came later. So Captain Cook was worshiped as Lono because the people thought the god, or possibly the chief who impersonated the god, had returned to them in the form of this impressive stranger. Worshipers of a god were sometimes identified with the god after their death. It also happened that a man acquired the name of an ancestor during life as a sobriquet. A certain Hawaiian chief was called Wakea because he had a child by his own daughter, a departure from custom like that narrated in the myth of the first parent. An episode told in the life of Lono the god seems to have become mixed up with the quarrel of the chief Lono-i-kamakahiki with his wife Kaikilani. Thus confusion arises through the habit of doubling names and we are unable to say in particular instances whether the god or his namesake, or which namesake in the historical sequence, is alluded to. But divinity is thought of in Polynesia as lying dormant in the idea and manifesting itself in form only when it becomes active--an activity represented among a people obsessed by the social importance of genealogical descent as a succession of births. It seems to me therefore probable that different immigrant families brought with them the gods and ritual familiar to them in the south, and developed local or personal gods in competition with a rival's claim to sources of aid from the spirit world. The particular form such a god took depended upon some dream or incident which suggested that a god had thus manifested himself to them.

    Hawaiian mythology recognizes a prehuman period before mankind was born when spirits alone peopled first the sea and then the land, which was born of the gods and thrust up out of the sea. In Hawaii, myths about this prehuman period are rare. No story is told of the long incubation of thought which finally becomes active and generates the material universe and mankind; the creation story in Hawaii begins at the active stage and conforms as closely as possible to the biblical account. No story is told of the rending apart of earth and heaven, after the birth of the gods. No family of gods is represented, no struggle of the son against the primeval father, no story of the ascent to the heaven of the gods after esoteric wisdom, no myth of Tiki and the first woman, or one so obscured as to remain doubtful. Even Wakea and Papa, whose figures play a dominating part in Hawaiian myth and story, are represented as parents upon the genealogical line, not as the Sky and Earth deities their names imply. Thus the imagination, which in Polynesian groups in the South Seas plays with cosmic forces, in Hawaii is limited to human action on earth, magnified by incarnations out of a divine ancestry. Cosmic myths are either absent or told in terms of human society.

    The comparison of Hawaiian stories with versions from the southern Pacific offers an important link in tracing routes of intercourse during the period of migration of related Polynesian groups. When the peopling of Hawaii took place cannot be clearly demonstrated. It was probably some centuries after the Christian era and perhaps first by way of Micronesia, from whence the earliest Polynesian voyagers may have spread out fanwise over the eastern Pacific. The firstcomers to the Hawaiian group may have chanced upon these uninhabited islands. They may have followed flights of migrating birds or observed currents which brought strange pieces of wreckage to their shores. There is no archaeological evidence to show that any people of a different culture had lived here before them. Later migrations certainly took off from Tahiti, as is distinctly recorded in old chants and legends and further proved by linguistic identities and corresponding forms of culture between the two areas. Thus Hawaii, although for many centuries finally cut off from contact with the parent group, retained a considerable body of common tradition and still kept the memory of the ancestral bonds with Kahiki as the rootstock (kumu) of the family line. All were branches (lala) from the parent stock. The plot of many Hawaiian romances and hero tales turns upon such a claim to relationship with a chief in Tahiti through whom the child of the humbler parent lays claim to divine lineage.

    Hawaii was a large and fertile land. After the hardships and struggles of early colonization the social order became stabilized, long voyages ceased, chiefs settled down to a life of leisure, and aristocratic arts and amusements flourished. Even in the humblest family, story-telling furnished entertainment for long evenings. In the courts of chiefs it was a popular amusement on the occasion of a journey or a visit. Genealogies and local legends were carefully preserved. Traditional hero tales and romances were spun out long into the night by means of song and dialogue, one detail following another according to a fixed pattern, or an episode being introduced from another legend to prolong the tale. A contemporary incident might be adroitly narrated in terms of some legendary episode; an old tale localized or moved forward into the cycle told of a contemporary chief; a story of gods made over into one of human exploit.

    But a tale once composed retained its general form, even much of its detail. Since the habit of memorizing does not easily die out, a comparatively large body of such traditional story has been preserved, for the most part from oral recitation. Hawaiians today readily distinguish stories invented on a foreign pattern, of which, after the coming of the whites, they were prolific composers. It was through the introduction of the new art of letters that the missionaries won their most spectacular success over the minds of the leaders of the nation. Very soon after their arrival, the reduction of the language to writing was followed by the setting up of the first printing press west of the Rockies. The missionaries specialized in biblical knowledge, but free versions of foreign tales from Persian epic, The Arabian Nights, Shakespeare, Walter Scott, and lesser romancers of the day fill the pages of Hawaiian newspapers after the sixties. Wild romances were composed upon the foreign model with a setting of passion and mystery borrowed from other than native sources. The popular romance of Leinaala is said to have been inspired by the love passages in the Song of Solomon, and the magic employed is distinctly other than Hawaiian or even Polynesian.

    Happily, however, some Hawaiian editors believed that the old stories handed down from their forefathers through oral recitation had equal claim to the interest of their readers. A call was sent out for such transcriptions and, from the period of the sixties, many such legends were committed to writing and printed as continued stories in the weekly journals. A single tale might run on for years, as happened in the case of one whose translation I had attempted, only to find that the tr