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Hawaiian Newspapers in Atlas Obscura

The Atlas Obscura, the “definitive guidebook and friendly tour-guide to the world’s most wondrous places” covers the Hawaiian newspaper archive. Here’s an excerpt from the full article.

The Kingdom of Hawaii’s first native-language newspaper was published in 1834. By the 1870s, there were 10 such newspapers serving a population with an almost 100 percent literacy rate—impressive considering that as recently as the early 19th century, Hawaiian was primarily an oral language.

The explosion in Hawaiian-language papers demonstrated that Hawaiians were committed to documenting their own culture. The newspapers were also a critical method of sharing ideas across the islands, and with the rest of the world. Within these papers readers could find accounts of sustainable farming practices, regional politics, and reports from the battlegrounds of the American Civil War.