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Ma`i Lepera attempts to recover Hawaiian voices at a significant moment in Hawaii’s history. It takes an unprecedented look at the Hansen’s disease outbreak (1865-1900) almost exclusively from the perspective of “patients”, 90 percent of whom were Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian). Using traditional and nontraditional sources, published and unpublished, it tells the story of a disease, a society’s reaction to, and the consequences of the experiences for Hawai`i and its people.
Ma`i Lepera will be of significant interest to students and scholars of Hawai`i 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 Kanaka Maoli who contracted leprosy – their connectedness to each another, their families, their islands, and their nation – and how leprosy came to affect those connections and their lives.
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