H. Arlo Nimmo

Cultural anthropologist

PELE Volcano Goddess of Hawai´i. A History

Pele Volcano Goddess of Hawai´i. A History


A History

Jefferson and London: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2011.
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-7864-8653-3/Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-6347-3, 239 pages,  0.8 x 5.8 x 9.2 inches, 19 photos, 3 maps, 3 appendices, bibliography, index.

This book is a biography of the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele and a history of her religion. It is intended for the general reader but H. Arlo Nimmo has cited his sources for those who wish to pursue further investigation. The book is based on the English-language literature about Pele, including translations from Hawaiian and European languages. The first three chapters discuss the traditional literature and religion of Pele. Subsequent chapters discuss the ongoing belief in Pele in post-contact Hawai´i, including her manifestations, her ceremonies, her new roles, her alleged “curse” and her current religion. Appendices include “Siblings of Pele,” “Places in the Hawaiian Islands Visited by Pele” and “Epithets for Pele.”

H. Arlo Nimmo, a cultural anthropologist and short story writer, has conducted extensive research in the southern Philippines among the nomadic boat-dwelling Sama Dilaut. He has written twelve books and dozens of articles. Many of these publications are based on his Philippines research, but he has also written about American popular culture, San Francisco history and Hawaii’s volcano goddess Pele. His book of short stories The Songs of Salanda won the 1994 Philippines National Book Award and his ethnography Magosaha won the 2002 Social Science Gintong Aklat Award for Excellence in the Philippines. His biography The Andrews Sisters, published in 2004, was a finalist for the Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence. His collection of short stories, A Very Far Place (2012), was a finalist in the 2013 Philippines National Book Award for short fiction. Nimmo is currently Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at California State University East Bay and resides in San Francisco.  https://harlonimmo.wordpress.com/


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