Iwa: The Hawaiian Legend
The latest contribution of beloved artist Dietrich Varez to interpreting and illustrating stories from Hawaiian folklore is presented in ‘Iwa, The Hawaiian Legend. When the fisherman Kea‘au, renowned for catching octopus, finds two beautiful and rare red cowry shells he thinks they must be a gift from the goddess Hina. After he fashions them into a lure, the octopus swarm to the magical shells and he gathers more than enough to feed his whole village. The bounty is short lived when chief ‘Umi learns of the magical shell lure and demands to have it for himself. Thus begins the tale of how the boy-thief, ‘Iwa, who exhibits the same thieving traits as his namesake, the Great Frigatebird, is invited to the island of Hawai‘i to retrieve the precious lure. There he encounters the high chief ‘Umi, famous historical ruler of Hawai‘i island, who puts ‘Iwa’s talents to the test. The rich imagery of Hawai‘i’s diverse environment, its sea life, plants and animals is depicted alongside Varez’s interpretation of the human aspect of this classic tale.