Hawaiian-language Newspapers from the 1800s and 1900s provide key information about Hawaii’s history. These newspapers provide a glimpse into the events that were taking place at the time of publication. Weather events are a particular type of event that researchers have become interested in. By searching for and analyzing weather events in Hawaiian language newspapers, the history of climate patterns and extreme events such as hurricanes, flooding and drought during this time period can be better understood.

Read the paper HURRICANE WITH A HISTORY Hawaiian Newspapers Illuminate an 1871 Storm by Steven Businger, M. Puakea Nogelmeier, Pauline W. U. Chinn, and Thomas Schroeder to learn about how Hawaiian newspapers were used to uncover climate and weather events.

Watch the video below to learn about the University of Hawai‘i Institute for Hawaiian Language Research and Translation with Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier and his team, who are working with the ‘Ike Wai project to better understand historic and cultural importance of freshwater resources in Hawai‘i.

Kahua A‘o

Kahua A‘o is an NSF funded project from the Univeristy of Hawaii’s College of Education.

One of their projects connects culture and science using Hawaiian Language Newspapers.

“Hawaiian language newspaper articles provide detailed insights into Hawaiian experiences of storms, drought, wind, rain, tsunami and volcanic activity. These newspaper articles provide evidence of high literacy rates, acute environmental awareness, and cultural values for recording and sharing information in Hawaiian communities.

At present, 95 percent of the Hawaiian-language repository remains accessible only to those who can read the Hawaiian language. The Kahua A’o project drew upon a database containing more than 4,000 articles related to earth science, mo‘olelo (traditional stories), and ‘ōlelo no‘eau (traditional sayings). This extensive body of Hawaiian knowledge and language has the potential to support place-based research and education across the content areas.”

Kahua A‘o—A Learning Foundation: Using Hawaiian Language Newspaper Articles for Earth Science Professional Development by Chinn et al.

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