HONOLULU (KHON) — Dr. Noelani Arista, an associate professor of Hawaiian and US history at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, won the Best First Book in Native American and Indigenous Studies Prize for her book The Kingdom and the Republic: Sovereign Hawaiʻi and the Early United States (University of Pennsylvania Press).

Dr. Arista used extensive archives written in Hawaiian — the largest indigenous archives in the world — to detail the political deliberations aliʻi made when they encountered Americans and Europeans in the 19th century, creating a much more nuanced and historically complete picture of that period of history.

The prize committee wrote: “A rich history that draws extensively on previously on previously unused Hawaiian language sources and the interpretation of cultural modes of political and legal speech. Arista offers a compelling new story of how Native Hawaiians exerted political influence and indigenous law in the nineteenth century in response to colonial missions and markets. The book’s insistence on Hawaiian language archives and nuanced interpretations of political speech and gesture by both Native Hawaiians and colonial figures stands as a significant contribution to historical scholarship.”

To learn more about the book, go here.