kapa kulture

This blog is dedicated to Hawaiian kapa and matters related to Hawai'i nei…kuku kapa e!

Hawaiian Word of the Day: puke / buke

puke/buke: Book, volume (in a series).

ka puke

ka puke

Oratory is a valuable art form throughout Polynesia. As such it has an important role, with etiquette and rules of protocol. Passing down legacies of cultural stories, events, and skills exclusively through oral transmission was a way of life. When the Missionaries came to the islands of Hawai’i in 1820, they eventually established schools in which the spoken Hawaiian language was extended to written forms. The Hawaiian alphabet could be learned for reading and writing and vocabulary words were continuously being added to the written Hawaiian language.

In 1869, a Native Hawaiian historian reported in a newspaper article that Hawai’i was the only Pacific island government to be represented at an Exposition in Paris. Books of law, newspapers, agricultural products, Bibles, textbooks, as well as other examples of writing in ‘ōlelo Hawai’i were exhibited. It is said that European visitors to the Paris Exhibition were awestruck at the examples of their literary accomplishments. For in Europe at that time, monarchs and their noble classes alone received excellent educations. It is reported that one viewer exclaimed, “This…island is ahead in literacy; and the enlightened countries of Europe are behind it!”

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