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Hawaii - Mary Kawena Pukui Annotated Bibliography

Mary Kawena Pukui

Image of Mary Kawena Pukui 


   Mary Kawena Pukui’s published work spans over 50 years, and her contribution to Hawaiian knowledge and preservation make her a giant in both the fields of Hawaiian language and Hawaiian studies. It is not much of a leap to say that were it not for Tūtū Pukui much of the information and texts we take for granted would either have remained lost, or would have been translated much later. Kamakau, I‘i, and Kepelino became known due to her efforts. ‘Ōlelo No‘eau, chants, mele – much of which we owe to Pukui, it is not too far-fetched to say that before her death no other living Hawaiian had worked as hard to preserve the knowledge and culture of the Hawaiian people.

   Pukui’s translations and authorship span a variety of Native Hawaiian topics: kinship, life cycles, religion, material culture, language, mele – the gamut of Native Hawaiian expression. Of the 19th century Hawaiian scholars who make up the translated canon of Hawaiian history, Pukui translated three – Kamkau, I‘i, and Kepelino. While, Martha Beckwith usually gets the credit for translating Kepelino’s Traditions of Hawaii, I have taken the cue from Rubellite Kawena Johnson who lists Tūtū Pukui as the translator of Kepelino’s Traditions. Today the full extent of Pukui’s work and scholarship is evident not only in her published work, but also in the vast repository of notes and manuscripts held at the Bishop Museum in the Hawaiian Ethnographic Notes (HEN).


Scope and Purpose

This guide looks only at those works which were published. Pukui worked on many manusripts and translations, many of which are unpublished and held at the Bishop Museum. While there are many works in which Pukui was an informant or where her translations were used, I have limited this bibliography to her work as author, co-author, or translator. 

I am grateful for, and relied on, two bibliographies of Pukui's publications. One was prepared by Rubellite Kawena Johnson and the other by The Committee for the Preservation and Study of Hawaiian Language, Art, and Culture. These bibliographies informed me of gaps in my searches and were a useful map to Pukuiʻs work. With out their hard work this would not have been posssible. 

The guide is intended for those students and researchers who want to know more about Tūtū Pukui and the work she did. Also, because so much of her work touches upon large aspects of Hawaiian studies and Hawaiian culture, it is for students and researchers in those areas. Listed below are related subjects to the works listed. 

The entries are arranged by decade of publication and are listed from oldest to most recent. The majority of entires have links to item records in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa's library catalog. 

Subjects Related to the Lib Guide



Birthing Customs and Practices


Family Structure

Fish and Fishing Practices

Food Preperation and Customs

Hawaiian Chants

Hawaiian Language

Hawaiian Legends and Mythology

Hawaiian Religion

Hawaiian Orthography



Lei Making



Place Names

Proverbs and Sayings

Traditional Medicine

Bibliography Information

D. Kealiʻi MacKenzie

This bibliography was written by D. Kealiʻi MacKenzie. It was originally compiled as a project for Hawaiian Studies 203: Review of Hawaiian Literature, in Spring 2011, as such it was completed in April of that year. Kealiʻi deposited the content of the bibliography in to this guide, and allowed the UHM Library to continue to make this content available to the public. Questions or comments may be directed to Dore Minatodani, at, or (808) 956-2852.