This is the last of Westervelt's six books of Hawaiian lore. Starting in mythological times, and retelling some of the migration legends, the book primarily focuses on the period of European contact, Hawaiian Historical Legends is of interest for anyone studying encounters between cultures, particularly where one of the cultures has a technological advantage. The core of the book is set against the background of consolidation of political authority in the islands (which was already underway before contact), the fall of the old tapu-bound absolute rule of the chiefs and the priests, and finally the emergence of modern Hawaiian civil culture. Of particular interest are Westervelt's speculations on early contacts, not only between the Hawaiians and the Europeans, but other Pacific rim cultures such as the Chinese, Japanese and Native Americans.
About Author: William Drake Westervelt (1849 - 1939) William Drake Westervelt (b.Dec 26 1849 - d. Mar 9 1939) is the author of several books and magazines on Hawaiian history and legends. He drew upon the collections of David Malo, Samuel M. Kamakau, and Abraham Fornander to popularize Hawaiian folklore in his Legends of Maui (1910), Legends of Old Honolulu (1915), Legends of Gods and Ghost-Gods (1915), Hawaiian Legends of Volcanoes (1916) and Hawaiian Historical Legends (1923).