Ma'i Lepera: Disease and Displacement in Nineteenth-Century Hawaiʻi
Kerri A. Inglis
Softcover, 288 pp.
This book attempts to recover Hawaiian voices at a significant moment in Hawaiʻi's history. It takes an unprecedented look at the Hansen's disease outbreak (1865-1900) almost exclusively from the perspective of patients, ninety percent of whom were Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian). Using traditional and nontraditional sources, published and unpublished, it tells the story of a disease, a society's reaction to it, and the consequences of the experience for Hawaiʻi and its people.
Maʻi Lepera will be of significant interest to students and scholars of Hawaiʻi and medical history and historical and medical anthropology. Given its accessible style, this book will also appeal to general readers who wish to know more about the Kānaka Maoli who contracted leprosy, their connectedness to each other, their families, their islands, and their nation - and how leprosy came to affect those connections and their lives.