The Dictionary of Polynesian Mythology is the result of many years of research. The individual entries were gleaned from nearly 300 sources in English, German, French, and Polynesian languages with the majority extracted from a number of primary sources that date generally in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The printed source materials for this volume are fully described and listed by geographical group, including Maori, Cook Islands, Tahitian, Marquesan, Hawaiian, Samoan, and Tongan. General collections that retell the Polynesian stories are also surveyed. The entries are alphabetically arranged by major mythological figure; lesser characters can be located in the index. Short bibliographical citations--author, date, and page number--are included at the end of each main entry to direct readers to fuller information contained in the printed sources. An appendix provides valuable supplemental information on Polynesian gods and goddesses. This dictionary is sure to become a basic reference tool for libraries, students, and scholars of Pacific history and culture, as well as for courses in mythology, religion, and philosophy.
ROBERT D. CRAIG is Professor of History and Chairman of the Social Sciences Department at the Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage. He is editor of Pacifica: A Journal of Pacific and Asian Studies and he coauthored the Historical Dictionary of Oceania (Greenwood Press, 1981). Craig is currently writing a history of Tahiti and compiling a Tahitian-English, English-Tahitian Dictionary.
Students, researchers, and enthusiasts can follow vivid retellings of stories of creation, death, and great voyages, tracking variations from island to island. They can use the book's reference section for information on major deities, heroes, elves, fairies, and recurring themes, as well as the mythic implications of everything from dogs and volcanoes to the hula, Easter Island, and tattooing (invented in the South Pacific and popularized by returning sailors).