The Princess of Manoa

Cover of "The Princess of Manoa"
Cover of “The Princess of Manoa”

The Princess of Manoa (1906) was the second book of Hawaiian folklore tales collected and retold by Emily Foster Day for Paul Elder. Her first book of Hawaiiana, The Menehunes, published by Elder in 1905, must have been reasonably successful.

The Manoa Valley is in Honolulu, a bit towards Diamondhead from the old town center and then mauka (towards the mountain) along Manoa Valley Road. At the head of the valley is the lovely Lyon Arboretum, and farther up the trail is Manoa Falls.

Two different versions of the cover are known: paper on boards with a full-page decoration of an ocean sunset, and cloth on boards with a small gold-stamped border around the title. There is also a leather edition of the latter design.

Illustrator D. Howard Hitchcock (1861-1943) was an American painter who specialized in depictions of Hawaii, where he lived his entire life. In the San Francisco area, his work was exhibited both at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915 and the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939.

Alternate cover of "The Princess of Manoa"
Alternate cover of “The Princess of Manoa”, buckram
Alternate cover of "Princess of Manoa," leather
Alternate cover of “Princess of Manoa,” leather
Dust jacket of alternate cover
Dust jacket of alternate cover
Title page of "The Princess of Manoa"
Title page of “The Princess of Manoa”
Frontispiece of "The Princess of Manoa"
Frontispiece of “The Princess of Manoa”
Page 1 of "The Princess of Manoa"
Page 1 of “The Princess of Manoa”
Custom leatherbound edition of "Princess of Manoa"
Custom leatherbound edition of “Princess of Manoa”

The Menehunes

Menehunes
The Menehunes, by Emily Foster Day

The Menehunes, Their Adventures With the Fisherman and How They Built the Canoe, by Emily Foster Day, 1905. This small volume was bound in Hawaiian kapa fabric, with delightful illustrations by Spencer Wright. The following year, Day wrote another book of Hawaiiana for Paul Elder, The Princess of Manoa. Emily was married to Francis Root Day (1859-1906), a prominent doctor. In 1887 they moved from Chicago to Honolulu, where they lived until their deaths.

Menehunes are popular characters in Hawaiian mythology; they are said to be a race of small people that live in the deep forest, far from the prying eyes of humans. The Menehunes arrived in Hawaii before the Polynesians, and were excellent craftspeople who built heiau (temples), roads, and fishing ponds.

Frontispiece and title page of "Menehunes"
Frontispiece and title page of “Menehunes”
Pages 2-3 of "Menehunes"
Pages 2-3 of “Menehunes”
The decorated endpapers of "Menehunes"
The decorated endpapers of “Menehunes”