Noenoe K. Silva is Professor of Indigenous Politics at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and author of
Ngugi wa Thiong’o is the author of numerous works of fiction, poetry, plays, and criticism, most recently,
Joseph Mokuʻōhai Poepoe
Joseph H. Kānepuʻu wrote four serialized works of literature: “He Moolelo no Pakaa,” “He Moolelo no Kana, Ka Hanai a Uli,” and “He Moolelo no Hamanalau, Hanai a Hawea” are moʻolelo kuʻuna, taken from the oral tradition. The fourth, “He Moolelo no Kanewailani” is a fictionalized autobiography modeled on that oral tradition. In this chapter, I give short analyses of these works and the context within which they were published. I follow these with a reading of “He Moolelo no Hamanalau, Hanai a Hawea,” as an example of the riches of Hawaiian-language literature, including a synopsis of the moʻolelo and an examination of the literary devices that Kānepuʻu employs.