The story of Ni‘ihau has been told many times by many people, but Ni‘ihau Place Names adds new information to the island’s history from a unique source: Hawaiian-language newspapers. From 1834 to 1948, approximately 125,000 pages of Native Hawaiian expression were printed in more than 100 different papers. In this book, John Clark has gathered and edited a large collection of invaluable articles that recorded daily life on Niʻihau, events and topics of interest, and the island’s place names. Additionally, Keao NeSmith, a Native Hawaiian of Kaua‘i and an applied linguist, translator, and researcher fluent in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, translated each passage into English. Most of these excerpts have not appeared in any other publication.
The book is divided into two main sections.“Ni‘ihau Places Names” is an alphabetical list of prominent place names on the island, accompanied by relevant passages in Hawaiian and their English translations. The list also includes Lehua, the small island near the northwest tip of Ni‘ihau. “Ni‘ihau History” is an additional collection of articles that includes many lesser-known place names and elucidates other topics deemed worthy by reporters and contributors of the time. Following the main text, readers will find helpful indexes of general terms, place names, and personal names.