Sacred Texts  Pacific 


A Hawaiian Creation Chant

translated with commentary by

Martha Warren Beckwith

[Published 1951, copyright not renewed]

This book, which appears for the first time on the Internet at Sacred Texts, contains the traditional Creation and Geneological Chant of the Hawaiian royal family, and Beckwith's extensive textual, anthroplogical, and historical commentary. This is one of the few source documents available in the realm of Polynesian religion, and it is stunning. The full Hawaiian version of the chant is included.

Also available at this site is Queen Liliuokalani's translation of the Kumulipo.

Very few works this recent are yet in the public domain. This book is in the public domain because it was not renewed in a timely fashion as the US copyright law required at the time.

Index of translated chants
Title Page
The Prose Note
Rank in Hawaii
The First-born Son and the Taboo
Lono of the Makahiki
Captain Cook as Lono
Two Dynasties
The Master of Song
Prologue to the Night World
The Refrain of Generation
Birth of Sea and Land Life
The World of Infancy
Winged Life
The Crawlers
The Night-Digger
The Nibblers
The Dog Child
The Dawn of Day
The Woman Who Sat Sideways
The Flood
The Woman Who Bore Children through the Brain
Papa and Wakea
Maui the Usurper
The Dedication
The Genealogies
Hawaiian Accounts of Creation
Other Polynesian Accounts of Creation
Ceremonial Birth Chants in Polynesia
The Kalakaua Text
Textual Notes