How Does the Kumulipo Mean?

Date
1995-06-01
Authors
Dye, Tom
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5
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1
Starting Page
53
Ending Page
55
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Abstract
When Queen Lili'uokalani's translation of the Kumulipo was published in 1889 it was called a "genealogical prayer chant" that described the creation of the world. Later, Pokini Robinson read it as "the conception, gestation, nurture, and achievement of a chief" (Perkins 1991a:14), a view that swayed Martha Beckwith, the Vassar College folklorist, who was the first to analyze the Kumulipo as a creation chant. Rubellite Johnson, the University of Hawaii professor, saw in it a Hawaiian understanding of biological evolution (Johnson 1985). Theodore Kelsey considered it "an intrinsic work of art among the greatest yet produced" (Perkins 1991a:24), and Leialoha Apo Perkins, editor of the recently established Journal of Hawaiian and Pacific Folklore and Folklifi Studies, agrees with him that "the Kumulipo is a world classic" (Perkins 1990: 18). She has dedicated the first three volumes of the journal to Kelsey and his lifelong investigators into the meaning of the poem.
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poem, Prayer, Chant, Kumulipo, Lili'uokalani, Theodore Kelsey, Phonics, hieroglphics, language, Hawaiian language
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3 pages
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