Local author maps Hawaiʻi’s history through notable statues
Hawaii Public Radio (KHPR)
A new book called “Reflections in Stone and Bronze“ spotlights Hawaiʻi’s statuary history. Author Cheryl Soon set out to learn the stories behind some of Hawaiʻi’s most famous statues. The book tries to give context to the works of art in a time when Confederate statues are being removed across the country.
This interview aired on The Conversation on June 9, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.
“Cheryl Soon’s Reflections in Stone and Bronze is a remarkable, well-researched, fascinating, and entertaining account of Hawaii’s history through its statues. The brilliant amalgam of the sprawling networks of prominent personalities honored in stone and bronze forms a story-telling time tunnel from 1884-2018. It’s a must read of Hawaii’s controversial political, religious, multiethnic, economic, and social history.”
— Peter Apo, Musician and former Government Official
“A growing number of travelers from around the world come to Hawaii in search of new knowledge and experiences that are authentic and meaningful. In “Reflections in Bronze and Stone” each statue that is depicted serves as a unique portal into Hawaii’s history and traditions. The author has found and elevated the voices of these ‘silent storytellers’ from which the reader can gain rare historical insights and a greater sense of place and appreciation for our island communities.”
— John De Fries, President and CEO, Hawaii Tourism Authority
“Reflections in Stone and Bronze” can serve as a field guide to visit and revisit old friends (or rivals) and new acquaintances embodied in these depictions. The statues offer a path for the curious who want to learn more about Hawaii’s heritage and sometimes forgotten aspects of its history. The statues encourage thoughtful contemplation, with stories that offer inspiration and encouragement, and also stories of sadness, disappointment and loss..”
— Kiersten Faulkner, Executive Director, Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation
“By documenting the histories of the statues and the sculptors who produced them, Soon shows how the people of Hawaii have honored their Hawaiian royalty, their role models, their multiple religions and the multi-ethnic population. Reflections in Stone and Bronze is an important contribution to Hawaii’s history.”
— John Clark, Author, Hawaii Place Names and Beaches of Hawaii series
Interestingly, not one of the figures has been toppled by activists as has happened on the mainland.
By Denby Fawcett
June 14, 2022