Na Pule Kahiko: Ancient Hawaiian Prayers

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ISBN: 9780912180830

Na Pule Kahiko begins with a discussion of prayers and the multitude of ancient gods and goddesses, then continues with chants that were a part of daily living, and prayers for a broad range of life events. Including voluminous footnotes that further enrich and amplify the text, this book is a treasury of historic knowledge and a glimpse into the society of ka po‘e kahiko, the people of old Hawai’i.

The content of Na Pule Kahiko owes a lot to author June Gutmanis’ thorough research and diligent organization, benefitting from her collaboration with Theodore Kelsey in his twilight years. Kelsey was a leading authority on Hawaiian language and culture who lived from 1895-1987. His work has been referenced by almost every major ethnographer. Citations of his contributions to this work are abundant within the footnotes.

Originally released in 1983 this text is reprinted exactly as first published, with the addition of notes and biographical information, making it a must for any Hawaiian reference collection.


Author June Gutmanis (1925-1987) was a tenacious researcher of Hawaiian lore. A noted historian and lecturer at Chaminade University, she was the author of numerous articles and several books, including Kahuna La’au Lapa'au: Hawaiian Herbal Medicine. Over many decades in Hawaii she dedicated herself to perpetuating and sharing the knowledge she collected. She worked as a research consultant for several cultural projects, including the first voyage of the Hokule’a, and believed strongly in educating people about Hawaii’s history and culture.


paperback | 136 pages | 8.5" x 11" | B&W