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Book Information:
HAWAIIAN LEGENDS OF DREAMS
Retold and Illuminated by Caren Loebel-Fried
Foreword by Keola Beamer
University of Hawai'i Press, 2005
128 pages, 60 illustrations, 20 in color $19.95, Cloth


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HAWAIIAN LEGENDS OF DREAMS
Retold and Illuminated by Caren Loebel-Fried
Foreword by Keola Beamer


The Hawaiian word for dream, moe`uhane, means “soul sleep.” But rather than sleep, spirits roamed through the nights of old Hawai`i and had great adventures in dreams. While sleeping, people communicated with the `aumäkua, their ancestral guardians, and this important relationship was kept alive through dreaming. People received guiding messages from the gods in their dreams. Romantic relationships blossomed in dreams, and people pined throughout the day for their dream husband or wife, longing for night when they could sleep and dream again. People paid special attention to a prophetic dream, or a dream in which the cure to an illness was revealed. Dreams provided inspiration, teaching songs and dances that were remembered and performed upon waking. There were specialists in dream interpretation. Dreams were analyzed and relied upon for every important decision in the days of old Hawai`i.

Ancient Hawaiians had no written language and legends were committed to memory and passed down orally from generation to generation. Legends contained the history of the people and taught lessons about life. Reading the legends today, we step back in time and catch a glimpse of the world of Hawai’i long ago. And within the legends are a multitude of dreams. Hawaiian Legends of Dreams is told with words and pictures, fully illustrated by award-winning artist Caren Loebel-Fried. A companion volume to Hawaiian Legends of the Guardian Spirits, Caren’s first book of stories and art, this collection contains ancient legends that are brought to life with 60 block prints, some in full, vibrant color and others in graphic black and white. Within this volume are legends that tell of the importance of dreams in the days of old Hawai’i, such as in the famous legend of Pele who is lured by the beating of a distant drum and travels in a dream to meet and entrance Lohi`au. More recent accounts of dream experiences, found within the notes, reveal that dreams continue to play an important role in Hawaiian life and are considered by many to have the same useful qualities as in the days of old. Told in a lively, “read-aloud” style, in the way that the storytellers of old might have told them, this volume is enjoyable for both kama’aina and malihini, native-born and newcomer, and readers young and old.

From the Foreword by Keola Beamer:

"Dreams are the beginning. They are the seed of our ambitions, the source of our inspiration, and the impetus for our creations. The book you hold in your hands is the manifestation of Caren Loebel-Fried’s dream to share the mana`o of traditional Hawaiians on the amorphous world of dreams. In this book, her love of our culture is evident in her research and beautiful art. She has captured the spirit of our view of the world, in which all things are connected and there is no distance between souls, alive or passed over, which cannot be bridged. We believe that mana, or life force, flows through the universe, and all things have a voice … even our dreams.

I want to thank Ms. Loebel-Fried for inviting me to write the foreword to this collection and for honoring my family by including our dear Sweetheart Grama, (Helen Desha Beamer), who often received her songs through dreams."

Critical Acclaim for Hawaiian Legends of Dreams:

“Caren Loebel-Fried's Hawaiian Legends of Dreams is intimate in size. Her 60 illustrations, in striking blockprinting, often with color washes, complement but never overpower the stories. This handsome volume, printed on glossy heavyweight paper, explores the significance of dreams in Hawaiian culture. Nine poignant tales are woven together with interesting bits of history. A great deal of effort has gone to ensuring the work is accurate. Footnotes point to discrepancies among sources when these occur. Historical notes occasionally follow a story, effectively tying the past to the present. Hawaiian Legends of Dreams evokes a feeling of reverence for the legends, the culture and history, and the attention to detail.”

-The Honolulu Advertiser, January 2006, by Jolie Jean Cotton

“Having no written language, Hawaiians passed their history and life lessons down in the form of legends, which were committed to memory and told and retold. Artist Caren Loebel-Fried retells nine dream stories from Hawai`i’s past. The writing is appropriate for the subject matter and the quality of the full-color block print artwork is first-rate.”

-The Honolulu Star Bulletin, September 2005

“On page 58 of this issue we explore the trials and tribulations and inevitable complexities of learning the Hawaiian language. But this book describes in nine dream stories from Hawai‘i’s past how, having no written language, Hawaiians passed their history and life lessons down in the form of legends, which were committed to memory and then told again and again. Hawaiian Legends of Dreams, retold and illuminated by Caren Loebel-Fried, with a foreword by Keola Beamer, tells, among other things, how Hawaiians of old believed they communicated with ‘aumakua, their ancestral guardians, while sleeping. During sleep, people received lessons of guidance from the gods.”

-Spirit of Aloha Magazine, December 2005

“…Like her earlier book, Hawaiian Legends of the Guardian Spirits, this newest release by Caren Loebel-Fried will be appreciated by readers for her interpretations of legends and unique block prints.”

-The Molokai Advertiser-News, September 2005



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