Legend of the Gourd
Adapted and Illustrated by Caren Ke'ala Loebel-Fried
Hawaiian translation by Kaliko Beamer-Trapp
Bishop Museum Press, 2010
Hardcover, 9x12, 36pp
Phone: (808) 848-4158
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In the district
of Ka'u, spread across the Kama'oa Plain, live the Children of the Gourd.
This magical tale delves into the past to reveal how the people of this
region came to be named.
During the old days of Hawai'i, a young man and woman fell in love. Though
both were descended from chiefs, their relationship was looked down upon.
And so the young couple ran away together, accompanied by many who cared
for them. They crossed the Kama'oa Plain, along the flank of Mauna Loa,
where they settled near the shore and thrived. Alas, the people's happiness
turned to sorrow as the chiefess became ill soon after her pregnancy and
did not recover.
Follow in the footsteps of the chief as he makes his way from Kama'oa
to Kapu'a, guided by a tiny green vine sprouting from the burial cave
of the chiefess. What he finds at the end of his journey brings him back
from the grief of losing his wife and solidifies the future of his people.
Caren Ke'ala Loebel-Fried beautifully depicts the love story between the
two ali'i and the miracle that comes to pass after a tragic death.
Adapted and illustrated by Caren Ke'ala Loebel-Fried, a storyteller
and second-generation carver who learned the ancient art of block printing
from her mother. Her inspiration comes from the legends and natural world
of Hawai'i, and her illustrations and stories have appeared in many books
Translator Kaliko Beamer-Trapp has been involved in the revitalization
of the Hawaiian language for over 15 years, and was formally adopted into
the Beamer family by Nona Beamer in 1995. He currently lives in Hilo,
Honolulu Star Advertiser
Isle-related fiction, how-to and pictorial books make great gifts for
By Burl Burlingame
OF THE GOURD"
As a writer,
Loebel-Fried tends to be overshadowed by her extraordinary block-print
illustrations. That's not really fair, as Loebel-Fried's storytelling
abilities are first rate, and she has the uncanny ability to suggest much
in just a few words. She is also helped along by Kaliko Beamer-Trapp's
Hawaiian translations. Loebel-Fried has won the American Folklore Society's
Aesop prize for Children's Folklore and a Ka Palapala Po'okela from the
Hawai'i Book Publishers Association.
put more trophies on her mantle. The district of Kau, on the Big Island's
Kamaoa Plain, is reputed to house the "Children of the Gourd," so named
after a legend of two lovelorn alii and a tragedy that passes between
them. The story is told through the gourd itself, a symbol of the Hawaiian
people's connection to the land.
has resonance in Christian mythology as well. It's gorgeously illustrated
and handsomely designed. Not just for kids.