Photo: Hawai‘i’s annual festival for book lovers
Hawai‘i Book & Music Main Stage audience, 2017. - Photos: Courtesy Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival

Hawai‘i’s annual festival for book lovers, music aficionados and folks who just want to learn more about the place they call home takes over Honolulu’s civic grounds the first weekend in May.

The 2018 Hawai‘i Book and Music Festival (HBFM) is an all-ages affair with a wide range of presentations and performances, taking place May 5 and 6 at the Frank F. Fasi Civic Grounds near Honolulu Hale. ‘Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro will be among the last to take the stage, following 150 events featuring authors, musicians, hula hālau, storytellers and keiki entertainers across 10 venues.

OHA sponsors the Alana Hawaiian Culture programming each year, inviting authors, historians and scholars reveal some of the most fascinating aspects of their research and writings. This year features discussions on ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i revitalization, including a panel on the evolving theory behind the Hawaiian language immersion programs and experiences of students, teachers and alumni, said HBFM Executive Director Roger Jellinek.

Other speakers will discuss illuminating finds from various archives, particularly the newly renamed Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives. Historian Tom Woods, who recently retired as executive director at Mission Houses, pushed for a new trend in historiography that examines the collaboration of ali‘i with early missionaries, Jellinek noted.

Photo: John Berger presents an image of Eddie Kamae to Myrna Kamae
Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter, and editor of Hawaiian Music and Musicians, John Berger presents an image of Eddie Kamae to Myrna Kamae, at the 2017 Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival

Panelists will explore the Hawaiian concept of mana during a session on the book Mana Lāhui Kānaka by OHA’s Ka Pouhana (CEO) Kamana‘opono Crabbe’s. The presenters will look at traditional and contemporary understandings of mana, as well as how collective mana can be harnessed to uplift Hawaiian communities.

This year’s festival takes place May 5 and 6 at the Frank F. Fasi Civic Grounds near Honolulu Hale. The final schedule will be posted at

HBMF Alana Hawaiian Culture Program – Schedule of events

Saturday, May 5

10 a.m.
Irving Jenkins: Lord of the Haao Rain
An illustrated study of the famous Forbes Cave discovery, and the history of the wars between Kamehameha and Keouakuahuula, the man who was possibly buried there after he was assassinated.

11 a.m.
Mana Lahui Kanaka
Panel discussion led by Kealoha Fox, Ph.D.
Mana Lahui Kanaka Book Cover

Searching for Mary Foster: Nineteenth-Century Native Hawaiian Buddhiust, Philanthropist, and Social Activist
Panel discussion and readings

1 p.m.
Which Hawaiian Language?
UH Hilo scholars debate what standard Hawaiian language should be taught.

2 p.m.
Immersion Schools after 30 years
Panel discussion on the experience of teachers, students and alumni.

3 p.m.
Culture-Based Science
Discussion on science studies according to Hawaiian cultural-experience and priorities.

4 p.m.
Life of the Land: Articulations of a Native Writer
Collected writings of the legendary activist Dana Naone Hall.
Life of the Land Book Cover

Sunday, May 6

10 a.m.
The Ali‘i Letters
New translations of some 200 letters from ali‘i show how they worked with the original missionaries to bring Hawai‘i into the modern world.

11 a.m.
Post-Kapu religion
Discussion on how the original religion survived the official abandonment.

Readings from Ian MacMillan’s In the Time Before Light
An extraordinary posthumous novel set in Hawai‘i in the period pre-contact-1830

1 p.m.
No Ke Kalaaiana and the Origins of the 1840 Hawaiian Constitution
Conversation on the making of the key document of Hawai‘i’s first constitutional monarchy.

2 p.m.
Dragonfruit: A Novel
Malia Mattoch McManus has created a pro-Hawaiian kama‘aina witness to the Overthrow.
Dragonfruit Book Cover

3 p.m.
Light in the Queen’s Garden: Ida May Pope, Pioneer for Hawai‘i’s Daughters, 1862–1914
Sandra Bonura’s biography of the pioneering teacher whose students witnessed the Overthrow, and who did much for girls’ education in Hawai‘i.

4 p.m.
Jake Shimabukuo concert

Photo: Jake Shimabukuro
Jake Shimabukuro
to perform on Sunday. – Photo: Kenny Kim