Links to the Past: The Work of Early Hawaiian Artisans by Wendy S. Arbeit

By Wendy S. Arbeit

Winner of the 2012 Ka Palapala Po'okela Award for Excellence in textual content or Reference and the Honorable point out for Excellence in designated Interest.


The paintings of Hawaiian artisans on the time of Western touch was once woven seamlessly into their daily lives and culture--the information of that are now misplaced. even if we will now not understand the items left to us with a similar intensity of realizing as early Hawaiians, we will get pleasure from their aesthetic characteristics and the ability utilized in their development, rather whilst various items of a similar variety are considered jointly.

Links to the Past makes this attainable through reuniting greater than one thousand eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Hawaiian artifacts from over seventy associations and collections around the globe. The publication is split into twenty-one sections (wooden bowls, gourds, stone vessels, etc.), every one brought with colour images, prices from modern resources, and short historic and technical info. those are through dozens of line drawings (more than 1,400 in all) according to real artifacts or photos and attracted to scale inside each one item class. jointly they aid and increase studying approximately item shapes, styles, sizes, and, now and again, switch through the years. exact and unique illustrations reproduce gourd, basket, and mat patterns--now pale and nearly invisible at the gadgets themselves--as sincerely and vibrantly as once they have been first created.

Links to the Past is exclusive in bringing jointly countless numbers of conventional Hawaiian items in a single booklet. when it comes to enthusiasts, helmets, and patterned water gourds, nearly each recognized artifact is represented. quite a few items offered right here have hardly or by no means been visible in print. The e-book will turn out beneficial to these fascinated with the learn and construction of Pacific artwork and visible tradition and readers drawn to early cultural alternate and trend and layout between indigenous cultures.

1,400 illus.

Early praise:


In Links to the Past, Wendy Arbeit makes an incredible contribution to the research, and appreciation, of Hawaiian fabric tradition. The interval lined, from James prepare dinner s arrival in 1778 to later eu and American voyages into the 1830s, establishes a severe base-line for documenting the adjustments in fabric tradition led to through Western intervention, and Hawaiian reactions to these intrusions. This e-book is for sure the main entire compilation of Hawaiian layout to be had and is going far towards addressing the constraints of ordinary works that provide just one or attribute items of a given type. in its place, Arbeit offers a number of examples of every artifact style, giving a extra whole view of the diversity and edition of Hawaiian creativity. Roger G. Rose, Bishop Museum


frequently ethnographic items of day-by-day use were relegated to the extent of crafts, taken care of as technical curiosities and never noticeable as items of daring mind's eye and delight. In early touch Hawai i there has been a rare variety of useful goods of very prime quality that the literature has principally handled in a truly slender descriptive demeanour. hyperlinks to the prior is going a ways to treatment that scenario via offering either a historic and ethnographical context whereas highlighting the real aesthetic function that such goods had and nonetheless exhibit in Hawaiian society. Jerome Feldman, Hawai i Pacific college

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Extra info for Links to the Past: The Work of Early Hawaiian Artisans

Sample text

The container usually measured Precontact Hawaiians prized gourds used to fetch and store water (hue wai, mu‘ 20–50 cm high with a narrow neck stopped by a leaf, shell, or small piece of tapa. Most had no surface pattern. A notable exception was devised on Ni‘ihau and is found nowhere else in Polynesia. Ni‘ihau artisans decorated their water gourds, known as laha or ipu pawehe in a remarkable variety of geometric designs. Early observers recorded very different techniques for staining them. One mentions soaking the gourd in the stain, another has the stain inside the gourd soaking through the shell, and a third tells of staining while the gourd is still on the vine.

And they seem to possess the art of varnishing; for some of these stained gourd-shells are covered with a kind of lacker. James Cook They have likewise a method of scoring them with a heated instrument, so as to give them the appearance of being painted, in a variety of neat and elegant designs. a kind of mask, made of a large gourd, with holes cut in it for the eyes and nose. The top was stuck full of small green twigs, which, at a distance, had the appearance of an elegant waving plume: and from the lower part hung narrow strips of cloth, resembling a beard.

8cmD Blackburn H-59 33cmL 22cmW Sydney E4325 7cmH 25cmL BPBM 626 ~23cm ~22cm BPBM 10303 34 Wooden Bowls Repairs Bowls with cracks, holes, or chipped edges were not discarded but were patched and repaired with pieces of wood using clever and precise techniques. Custom-made patches, held in place with a combination of variously shaped wedges and pegs, were so neatly done that certain patches were not visible on the inside and none left gaps. Craftsmen used fine cordage prepared from coconut fiber and sometimes olona- to stitch and stabilize cracks.

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