Astronomy in Hawai'i

  • Rubellite K. Johnson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_8433

There were two important tasks that drew on ancient Hawaiians’ understanding of space and time. One was constructing a ritual calendar for determining the length of the day, week, month, and year; the other was navigating on the seas between island destinations.

The first, calendrics, was the responsibility of the priests, among whom were stargazers called kilo hoku, from kilo (to observe or to watch), and hoku (star). The same stargazers, however, observed more than stars. They knew the sun's motions and those of the moon and the planets, but the stars were the most challenging.

Let us look at this from the standpoint of the student who starts out in “class,” which was a place set aside for men and boys to worship the gods. In a place where men only spoke with one another in the men's eating house, the hale mua, the “front” (mua) house in the compound of the household (kulana kauhale), a young boy began his training in these subjects. Since they were part of required religious...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Allen, Richard Hinckley. Star Names, Their Lore and Meaning. New York: Dover Publications, 1963.Google Scholar
  2. Fornander, Abraham. Account of the Polynesian Race. Rutland, Vermont, and Tokyo, Japan: Charles E Tuttle Publishing Co., 1969.Google Scholar
  3. Johnson, Rubellite K. The Kumulipo Mind, A Global Heritage (published over the internet by MightyWords, 2000, and FatBrain, 2001; no longer available).Google Scholar
  4. Johnson, Rubellite K. and John K. Mahelona. Na Inoa Hoku: A Catalogue of Hawaiian and Pacific Star Names, Honolulu: Topgallant Publishing Company, 1975.Google Scholar
  5. Malo, David. Hawaiian Antiquities, Honolulu: Bishop Museum, 1951.Google Scholar
  6. Nakuina, Moses K. Moolelo Hawaii o Pakaa a me Ku‐a‐Pakaa, na Kahu Iwikuamoo o Keawenuiaumi, ke Alii o Hawaii, a o na Moooopuna hoi a Laamaomao, 1867–1911 (unpublished manuscript, n.d.; translated by Rubellite K. Johnson from the original Hawaiian text).Google Scholar
  7. ‐‐‐. The Rarotongan Version of the Story of Rata. Journal of the Polynesian Society 9 (1910).Google Scholar
  8. Stimson, Joseph F. Songs of the Sea Kings. Salem, Massachusetts: The Anthoensen Press, 1957.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rubellite K. Johnson

There are no affiliations available