Spotlight - No Mākou ka Mana
No Mākou ka Mana is named 2015 Hawaiʻi Book of the Year
No Mākou ka Mana: Liberating the Nation, by Dr. Kamanamaikalani Beamer, recently garnered the prestigious Samuel M. Kamakau Award for Hawai‘i Book of the Year at the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards.
The Samuel M. Kamakau Book of the Year is selected from among all Award of Excellence winners in the program’s 12 categories. Beamer’s book also received an Award of Excellence in the program’s Hawaiian Language, Culture, and History category and placed second in its Nonfiction category.
The book, which was released in July, 2014, discusses the complex ways in which the ruling ali‘i of the Hawaiian Kingdom engaged with foreign powers, crafting a sophisticated blend of traditional Hawaiian governance with ideas from the west.
Judges for the Hawai‘i Book of the Year Award shared the following comments on the publication:
“A unanimous choice for this year’s top award, Kamanamaikalani Beamer’s ‘No Mākou ka Mana’ is one of those rare texts that could leave even the most jaded of readers feeling like a seemingly immovable tide might actually be turning.
“In this important work, Beamer offers an analysis of Hawai‘i’s past through what he terms, ʻ‘ōiwi optics,’ an indigenous-grounded perspective of scholarship replacing a previously dominant colonial lens. He is not the first author to offer a vision of native agency in Hawai‘i’s history, but his well-researched and engagingly written book brings a weighty presence to this topical discussion.
“Beamer employs both intellectual rigor and a deep familiarity with the cultural ‘ike that often provides critical context to easily misinterpreted actions and words. As many of his kūpuna before him, the author gives witness to an uninterrupted mo‘okū‘auhau of knowledge, ability, and determination.
“His presentation of this new historical landscape both inspires and challenges. A courageous book with a potentially wide audience, ‘No Mākou ka Mana’ works to liberate all who engage it from the sometimes hypnotic acceptance of an uncomplicated past.”
The Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association sponsors the awards annually as part of its public outreach effort to enhance the recognition of book publishing as an industry in Hawai‘i and to support local literacy. The term Ka Palapala Po‘okela can be translated from Hawaiian to mean “Excellent or Exemplary Manuscript.”