The 2012 Ka Palapala Poʻokela Awards gala is fast approaching (Friday, May 11), and to generate excitement for the event as well as educate the public on the nominees, I will be doing a countdown that quickly highlights the books nominated for each awards category. Where applicable, I will link to book reviews from Hawaiʻi Book Blog.

For a complete list of all the nominees we’ve posted and for all the updated information on the event, please visit our dedicated Ka Palapala Poʻokela Awards page.

The second category we are spotlighting is one which has, I believe, recently modified its name.  Previously referred to as “Hawaiian Culture,” the category has expanded its name to “Hawaiian History and Culture” to match its scope.  Name change or not, the books in this category often excel in providing new insight on Hawaiian culture and history.  Recent winners in this category include Mai Paʻa I Ka Leo and Wayfinding Through the Storm.

Excellence in Hawaiian History and Culture

Books reflecting Hawaiian culture or Hawaiian history.

Hawaiian Surfing: Traditions from the Past
John R.K. Clark
University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2011
512 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 978-0824834142
HBB Review

I Ulu I Ke Kumu / The Hawai‘inuiākea Monograph
Edited by Puakea Nogelmeier, Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge
University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2011
104 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 978-0984566600

Ka Honua Ola
Pualani Kanaka’ole Kanahele
Kamehameha Publishing, 2011
179 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0873362306

Links to the Past: The Work of Early Hawaiian Artisans
Wendy S. Arbeit
University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2011
336 pages, Cloth
ISBN: 978-0824834760

No Nā Mamo: Traditional and Contemporary Hawaiian Beliefs and Practices
Malcolm Naea Chun
University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2011
424 pages, Cloth
ISBN: 978-0824836245

The Hula: A Revised Edition
Jerry Hopkins, edited by amy Kuuleialoha Stillman
Bess Press, 2011
200 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1573063128

The World of Bananas in Hawaii, Then and Now: Traditional Pacific & Global Varieties, Cultures, Ornamentals, Health & Recipes
Angela Kay Kepler & Francis G. Rust
Pali-o-Waipio Press, 2011
612 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0983726609

What a great selection of Hawaiian history and culture books!  I’d say on paper this looks like a better overall crop of books than last year’s nominees.  What do you think?  Have you read any of these books, and if so, which one is your favorite?

Remember, you can attend the 2012 Ka Palapala Poʻokela Awards gala on Friday, May 11 at Bishop Museum. Enjoy heavy pūpū, gourmet chocolates by Choco leʻa, entertainment by Ka ʻEhā, and a book sale and author signing. Tickets can be purchased at Native Books/Nā Mea Hawaiʻi at Ward Warehouse (808-596-8885).  For more information about the event, please contact aloha@hawaiibooks.org.