Skip to Main Content

HWST 270: Resources

This guide includes resources and helpful tips for researching Hawaiian mythologies.

Hawaiian Legends Index

Search here to locate myths and legends indexed in 77 books.

Search for:


appear somewhere in Subject

A print copy is also available in the Hawaiʻi Collection for those who prefer to browse the physical book.

Want to know what books are indexed? Click here to view the list.


ʻImi iā One Search (Searching in One Search)

Use Primo Guided Search to search for books and media (videos, DVDs & CDs) on your topic.

When searching in Primo or any other databases, it is important to find the appropriate keywords (and these can vary by database). Depending on your research topic, you may want to try different keywords to see what works best. To help get you started, below is a list of recommended keywords for researching legends about a specific akua (or kupua) or stories about a particular place.

Searching by Akua or Kupua

If you're looking for a specific akua or kupua, try keyword searching (trying various spellings)

There are a few akua you can search for by subject in Primo Search (see examples below).  However, most akua are mentioned within more general texts, so doing a general keyword search is usually best. 

Searching by Place/Geography

If searching for the legends of a particular place, use the following subject headings and the name of the place or island.

  • Mythology
  • Legends
  • Folklore
  • Cosmology
  • Cosmogony
  • Folk literature
  • Origin
  • Tales
  • Oral tradition
  • History

Remember to try different keywords and combinations of keywords in your searches to expand or narrow your results.

Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic Library includes digitized books on Hawaiian culture, history, and language.

The books in Ulukau are divided into 5 categories:

  1. Special Features 
  2. Beginners
  3. Intermediate
  4. General
  5. Reference

Note: The Intermediate & General categories will probably be the most useful for your assignment.

ʻImi Nūpepa (Searching Newspapers)

Use the following databases to search for Hawaiian newspapers available online.

Papakilo Database logo

Papakilo Database - Search Newspapers
This is a digital collection of historic Hawaiian Newspapers. This collection contains 11,934 issues comprising 58,612 pages and 379,918 articles.


Kīpuka Database
This is a geographical information system (GIS) that utilizes the latest mapping technologies to provide a window into native Hawaiian land, culture and history. A Help Tutorial is available to help you better navigate the database.


Ulukau logo

Hoʻolaupaʻi (
This is a collection of historic Hawaiian-language newspapers published between 1834 and 1948. The newspaper images can be retrieved by word search, title, or date.


Nā Puke Wehewehe (Dictionaries)

Use Hawaiian Dictionaries online to look up Hawaiian words.

Or, check out the following dictionaries from the Library:

Citing Sources

Citations can feel tedious sometimes but it is important to cite the sources you use in your research. Not to worry, there are resources to help you... Review the Citing Sources guide to get started with citation basics and style guides.


Profile Photo
Shavonn Matsuda
Office: Library, 3rd floor