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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Free Lecture by Robert Hommon: The Ancient Hawaiian State - Origins of a Political Society, 4/10 at 7pm

WHAT:  "The Ancient Hawaiian State"  a free lecture by Robert Hommon
WHEN: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
TIME:  Refreshments and book signing at 7:00 p.m., program at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE:  the Kana'ina Building, (Old Archives Building) on the grounds of 'Iolani Palace.

Copies of Robert Hommon's new book, "The Ancient Hawaiian State", published by Oxford University Press, will be available for sale at a *20% discount. *
Free parking on 'Iolani Palace Grounds.

*Sponsored by the Hawaiian Historical Society. *

For more information, visit:

Or call 537-6271.

The political evolution of the ancient Hawaiian state is the topic of a special program and book launching to be presented by the Hawaiian Historical Society on Wednesday, April 10, 2013. Society members, friends, and the public are all invited to attend the illustrated lecture by Dr. Robert J. Hommon, author of the newly published book, The Ancient Hawaiian State: Origins of a Political Society (Oxford University Press).

Hommon’s book is a study of the ancient Hawaiians’ transformation from chiefdoms into primary state societies. Historians define primary states as large-scale, territory-based, autonomous societies in which centralized, bureaucratic governments employ legitimate power to exercise sovereignty. Hommon argues that Polynesia should be added to the list of world regions with recognized primary societies by virtue of developments in Hawai‘i and Tonga. In the book, Hommon describes three competing Hawaiian states existing in 1778-1779 based on the islands of Hawai‘i, Maui, and O‘ahu. He compares these with the Tongan state and the chiefdom societies in the Solomon, Marquesan, and Society archipelagoes.
Robert J. Hommon recently retired as archaeologist and senior cultural resource scientist for the Pacific Islands Office of the National Park Service. He has conducted research on seven of the eight major Hawaiian Islands, including at Kealakekua Bay, Mākaha and Kahana Valleys, and Russian Fort Elizabeth. He conducted island-wide surveys of Maui, Lāna‘i, and Kaho‘olawe. For the latter, he prepared the overview report for listing the entire island in the National Register of Historic Places. Hommon served as president of the Society for Hawaiian Archaeology for ten years.
A book signing at 7:00 p.m. will precede the lecture, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. Copies of the book will be available at a 20 percent discount. The book has been praised by reviewers as “a masterful integration of archaeological and documentary records” and “a comprehensive description of the ancient Hawaiian state [drawing] upon a wealth of comparative data from other Polynesian societies.” For a more complete description of the book, visit the Oxford University Press Web site.

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