The sacred raven is quickly disappearing in HI and there are just a few in captivity now. I was lucky to see some in person in April at The Maui Conservation Center in HI. Thank you for helping me.
Sincerely, Debra Gannon Neuberger
Kelanola, the Raven Princess of Oahu
New Illustrated Children’s Book Colorfully Presents Story of Hawaiian Folklore
In her new children’s book, Kelanola, the Raven Princess of Oahu (published by AuthorHouse), Debra Gannon Neuberger imparts the majestic beauty of Hawaiian folklore in a story about friendship and freedom.
Beautifully illustrated by Kathleen Michele Nail, Kelanola, the Raven Princess of Oahu is a colorful book that teaches a simple message – all living creatures desire to be free – and includes a glossary of many Hawaiian words that children and parents will enjoy learning together.
Kelanola is a very special raven. She is an aumakua, an honored Hawaiian spirit ancestor who can assume many forms, including the form of a raven. According to an ancient Hawaiian legend, when someone dies they are taken by the sacred raven to a high point where they leap into the next world. The raven is said to continue communication between those in this world and the next.
The book opens with Kelanola soaring high over the ocean on soft trade winds. Kelanola meets her best friend, Kanoa, and they reminisce about their childhood growing up on the island of Oahu. The two ravens were raised in captivity by two sisters, Kakalina and Kaniele.
Kelanola always dreamed of being free, living high on a cliff over the ocean. One day she found an open window and flew up and away to freedom. But her escape made Kanoa lonely. The sisters set him free, and he searches in desperation for Kelanola. A whale tells him that a beautiful young raven has gone to Oahu, and he flies straight there. When he finds Kelanola, they joyfully fly away to be together forever.
Today, two ravens are often seen soaring together over the Manoa Valley, and many believe that the birds are Kelanola and Kanoa.
Debra Gannon Neuberger and Kathleen Michele Nail both grew up in Honolulu on the island of Oahu and currently live in Colorado. They regularly return to Hawaii to visit family and friends.