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Seminar paper from the year 2009 in the subject Literature - Oceania, grade: 1,3, University of Constance, language: English, abstract: The development of a people is based on three categories which contain the quality of food supply, the relationship to other peoples and the religion whereas the latter probably most influences the intellectual advancement. This is because man's intelligence increases when he observes the different aspects of nature and life which have an effect on him. To understand natural phenomena and to gain a relation to those he creates gods, ghosts and supreme beings. Thus his fancy and imagination develop expressed by songs and legends in which the people combine facets of life, death and nature with supernatural creatures. Literature and art evolve by and by indicating cultural progress. Although the Hawaiians had an oral culture and therefore no written language, their intellectual advancement developed fast because of their uncountable songs and legends they repeated at fireplaces and feasts.1What kind of religion did the Hawaiians create that made them develop so fast? Which gods and ghosts did they invent to explain the natural phenomena they didn't understand or they filled with their imagination? Through summarizing the main Hawaiian gods and godesses below, I will give the necessary basis of knowledge to analyse the interpendent relationship between them and the Hawaiian people. This mutual influence abounds mainly in legends and songs, in worship and in the structure of the Hawaiian society. In conclusion, the results are brought together to decide how much the religion influenced ancient Hawaiian society and how distinctive the relationship between men and gods was. In doing so I will basically refer to Martha Beckwith's book Hawaiian mythology from 1940.
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