In early Hawai‘i, kua‘āina were the hinterlands inhabited by nā kua‘āina, or country folk. Often these were dry, less desirable areas where much skill and hard work were required to wrest a living from the lava landscapes. The ancient district of Kahikinui in southeast Maui is such a kua‘āina and remains one of the largest tracts of undeveloped land in the islands. Named after Tahiti Nui in the Polynesian homeland, its thousands of pristine acres house a treasure trove of archaeological ruins—witnesses to the generations of Hawaiians who made this land their home before it was abandoned in the late nineteenth century.
Kua‘āina Kahiko follows kama‘āina archaeologist Patrick Vinton Kirch on a seventeen-year-long research odyssey to rediscover the ancient patterns of life and land in Kahikinui. Through painstaking archaeological survey and detailed excavations, Kirch and his students uncovered thousands of previously undocumented ruins of houses, trails, agricultural fields, shrines, and temples. Kirch describes how, beginning in the early fifteenth century, Native Hawaiians began to permanently inhabit the rocky lands along the vast southern slope of Haleakalā. Eventually these planters transformed Kahikinui into what has been called the greatest continuous zone of dryland planting in the Hawaiian Islands. He relates other fascinating aspects of life in ancient Kahikinui, such as the capture and use of winter rains to create small wet-farming zones, and decodes the complex system of heiau, showing how the orientations of different temple sites provide clues to the gods to whom they were dedicated.
Kirch examines the sweeping changes that transformed Kahikinui after European contact, including how some maka’āinana families fell victim to unscrupulous land agents. But also woven throughout the book is the saga of Ka ‘Ohana o Kahikinui, a grass-roots group of Native Hawaiians who successfully struggled to regain access to these Hawaiian lands. Rich with ancedotes of Kirch’s personal experiences over years of field research, Kua’āina Kahiko takes the reader into the little-known world of the ancient kua‘āina.
Although architecture continually responds to ascetic compulsions, as in its frequent encounter with the question of excess and less, it is typically considered separate from asceticism. In contrast, The Hermit’s Hutoffers original insight and explores the rich and mutual ways in which asceticism and architecture are played out in each other’s practices. Relying primarily on Buddhist materials, author Kazi K. Ashraf provides a complex narrative that stems from the simple structure of the hermit’s hut, showing how the significance of the hut resonates widely and how the question of dwelling is central to ascetic imagination. In exploring the conjunctions of architecture and asceticism, he breaks new ground by presenting ascetic practice as fundamentally an architectural project, namely the fabrication of a “last” hut.
This innovative book weaves together the fields of architecture, anthropology, religion, and philosophy to offer multidisciplinary and historical insights. It will appeal to readers with diverse interests and in a variety of disciplines—whether one is interested in the history of ascetic architecture in India, the concept of “home” in ancient India, or the theme of the body as building.
Ancient Ryukyu explores 30,000 years of human occupation in the Ryukyu Islands, from the earliest human presence in the region up to A.D. 1609 and the emergence of the Ryukyu Kingdom. It focuses on the unique geopolitical position of the islands, their environment, and the many human communities whose historical activities can be discerned. Drawing on the impressive work of dozens of local archaeologists who have brought the islands’ early history to life, Richard Pearson describes explorers and sojourners and colonists who arrived thousands of years ago, and their ancient trade links to Japan, Korea, and China.
Through analysis of work completed at about 120 sites described in dozens of rare Japanese government reports with limited circulation, Pearson is able to show that many modern features of the culture, politics, and economy of the Ryukyu Islands have very deep roots.
“This extremely important study in Pacific and island archaeology makes use of the huge database generated by Okinawan archaeology in the postwar era and places the Okinawan islands in the context of current theoretical debates within island archaeology in the Pacific and beyond. It is also a major study of premodern Okinawa. With its many valuable overviews and discussions, as well as its original analyses and interpretations, it will undoubtedly become the definitive text in English.” —Mark Hudson, Nishikyushu University
The mutiny on the Bounty was one of the most controversial events of eighteenth-century maritime history. Mutiny and Aftermath publishes a full and absorbing narrative of the events by one of the participants, the boatswain’s mate James Morrison, who tells the story of the mounting tensions over the course of the voyage out to Tahiti, the fascinating encounter with Polynesian culture there, and the shocking drama of the event itself. It is based directly on a close study of Morrison’s original manuscript, one of the treasures of the Mitchell Library in Sydney, Australia.
The editors, Vanessa Smith and Nicholas Thomas, assess and explain Morrison’s observations of Islander culture and social relations, both on Tubuai in the Austral Islands and on Tahiti itself. The book fully identifies the Tahitian people and places that Morrison refers to and makes this remarkable text accessible for the first time to all those interested in an extraordinary chapter of early Pacific history.
“Morrison’s Account of the Mutiny on the Bounty has been known to scholars and students through Owen Rutter’s 1935 edition. Smith and Thomas draw on all the relevant scholarship in the seventy-five years since this edition, as well as their own distinguished research and expert understanding of Pacific cultures, to provide readers with an impeccable work of scholarship that will be an essential point of reference for all future writing on Tahiti at the time of first contact as well as on the Bounty mutiny itself.”—Rod Edmond, University of Kent
October 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3676-4 / $45.00 cloth
The UH Press Asian Studies 2013 catalog is now available! The catalog has been redesigned to showcase our new and forthcoming Asian studies titles. (All books published prior to late 2012 and currently in print can be found at our website.) To view the PDF, click on the catalog cover image to the left.
* Short fiction from Japan’s foremost Marxist writer, Kobayashi Takiji, including a new translation of an anticapitalist classic that became a runaway bestseller in Japan in 2008, nearly eight decades after its publication — The Crab Cannery Ship and Other Novels of Struggle
* Close description and analysis of the history, geographical whereabouts, and doctrinal positions of early schools of Buddhism by André Bareau, one of the foremost scholars of Buddhism of his generation — The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle
No other civilization in the premodern world was more obsessed with constructing underground burial structures than China, where for at least five thousand years people devoted a great amount of wealth and labor to build tombs and furnish them with exquisite objects and images. For the most part, tombs have been mainly appreciated as “treasure troves,” the contents of which has allowed art historians to rewrite histories of individual art forms such as bronze, jade, sculpture, and painting. However, new trends in Chinese art history place the entire burial (rather than its individual components) at the center of observation and interpretation. Wu Hung’s The Art of the Yellow Springs: Understanding Chinese Tombs takes this to the next level by focusing on interpretive methods. It argues that to achieve a genuine understanding of Chinese tombs we need to reconsider a host of art historical concepts (including visuality, viewership, space, formal analysis, function, and context) and derive an analytical framework from the three most essential aspects of any manufactured work: spatiality, materiality, and temporality.
“Most informative and innovative. . . written in a lucid style that should appeal to both engaged and general readers. Wu Hung has again proven himself to be a ground-breaker of Chinese art history.” —David D. W. Wang, Harvard University
May 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3426-5 / $50.00 (CLOTH)