A Guide to the Best Books on Hawaiian Myths and Legends

Guardian Kii - Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park
Guardian Kii - Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park. Images Etc Ltd / Contributor / Getty Images

An integral part of Hawaiian mythology are the stories of the gods, myths, and legends that have existed since the first settlers from Polynesia landed on the shores of the Hawaiian Islands.

In this guide to the best books on Hawaiian mythology, the title of each book is linked directly to the page on Amazon.com where you can purchase the book. You may also wish to check such sources as Half.com for even better prices on some of these books which were printed several years ago.

Ancient Hawaii

Artist-historian Herb Kawainui Kane explores how ancient Polynesian explorers found the Hawaiian Islands, the most remote in Earth's largest sea; how they navigated, how they viewed themselves and their universe, and the arts, crafts, and values by which they survived and prospered without metals or the fuels and inventions believed necessary for life today.

Fundamentals of Hawaiian Mysticism

The mystical practice of Huna evolved in isolation on Hawaii, and its ideas are profound yet elegantly simple. The ancient Hawaiians valued words, prayer, their gods, the sacred, the breath, a loving spirit, family ties, the elements of nature, and mana - the vital life force. This book presents Huna as both a venerated, ancient philosophy and a magnificently modern guide to spiritual living.

Hawaii by James Michener

James Michener's excellent introduction to Hawaii's history through expert and very accurate storytelling by one of America's favorite authors.

Hawaiian Magic and Spirituality

Scott Cunningham takes us on a mystical trip into paradise. His book is concise, clearly written, and categorized neatly into 3 sections; explaining the connections between the deities, people, myth, religion, magic, and land. The book also includes is a Hawaiian glossary and Hawaiian lunar calendar.

Hawaiian Mythology

Margaret Beckwith's classic work of folklore and ethnology and one of the definitive treatments of Hawaiian mythology and religion.

Hawaiian Religion and Magic

The enchanting beauty of ancient Hawaii gave birth of a culture unmatched in its modes of spiritual expression. Hawaiian Religion and Magic thoroughly examines this native culture's incredibly rich beliefs from a sociological and historical viewpoint.

The Kumulipo, a Hawaiian Creation Chant

The Kumulipo is a verse, a genealogy recited through time by Hawaiians. It is the chant that honors Creation. Life is explained in the most basic terms, from the start of time. This book is the best narrative account on the subject. Edited by Martha W. Beckwith.

Legends of Gods and Ghosts: Hawaiian Mythology

Originally published in 1915, this book provides an abundance of attractive nature myths and a cycle of legends recounting the exploits of the wonder-working demigod Maui. Lovers of legendary lore may feast upon this collection of traditional tales of the Hawaiian people. The ancient Hawaiians were of an imaginative turn of mind, and their traditions abound in tales of gods and goblins.

The Legends and Myths of Hawaii

Providing a unique insight into his culture, King David Kalakaua and editor Glen Grant, provide an extensive collection of the legends and myths of old Hawaii.

Nanaue the Shark Man and Other Hawaiian Shark Stories

Emma M. Nakuina looks at the traditional stories of Nanaue and other shark spirits, or 'aumakua. Included is an essay by Martha W. Beckwith on shark worship and shark gods.

Pele, Goddess of Hawaii's Volcanoes

Renowned Hawaiian artist and writer Herb Kawainui Kane presents lore associated with that impetuous and unpredictable, yet gentle and loving personality, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, Pele.

The Secrets and Mysteries of Hawaii

Pila of Hawaii will take you on a journey through time and captivate your soul with the life-transforming power that the islands' sacred sites, folklore, and myths bring to those who are willing to seek it. Whether you are planning a trip to this tropical paradise or are searching for greater insights into your own spirit, The Secrets & Mysteries of Hawaii will open you to a world of exquisite beauty and power.