The volume was produced specifically for the approximately 1800 children who come each year from other states, countries and islands to a summer program at Kamehameha to immerse themselves in everything Hawaiian. The Kamehameha Schools is funded by the Bishop Estate, which was left in trust for education of Hawaiian children by the Hawaiian princess, Bernice Pauahi Bishop (1831-1834).
While Ho`omaka`ika`i is a workbook for classes, offered to the public in order to further perpetuate Hawaiian culture. Editor Henry Bennett and his associates have created a volume that makes for interesting reading for children and adults, generously illustrated with drawings, photographs, musical scores and even directions for playing the `ukulele and nose flute, and dancing the hula. There are instructions in the arts and crafts, such as making gourd containers, the loop and ball game, petroglyphs, and tapa designs.
The book offers an excellent summary of the uses of Hawaiian plants in everyday ancient life. Of particular interest are illustrations showing all the plants gathered to build a Hawaiian grass house, and the day-to-day uses of the coconut tree. Fishing is also important in Hawaiian culture and each fish and the way it was captured is explained. Throughout Ho`omaka`ika`i, Hawaiian words are translated for easy learning for children and adults.
Explorations! Ho`omaka`ika`i is available in book stores throughout Hawai`i and can be ordered by mail by writing The Kamehameha Schools Book Store, 1887 Makuakani St., Honolulu, HI. 96817. Enclose a check for $11.95 plus $3 for shipping and handling. A list of 20 publications by The Kamehameha Schools is available by writing the Media and Publications Department at the same address.