New Star Blogs

The story of Salt Spring’s Hawai’ian matriarch back on shelves


We’re pleased to announce a new edition of Maria Mahoi of the Islands, Jean Barman‘s 2002 instant-classic concerning the mystery-shrouded life of one of our province’s important clan mothers.

Born in the mid-1850s to a Hawai’ian father and a First Nations mother, Maria Mahoi died in 1936 on Russell Island near Salt Spring, having raised thirteen children and leaving behind scores of descendants, including a future provincial cabinet minister.

“Jean Barman is a good storyteller  .. . When she addresses issues of race and racialization, her insight into the experience is surprisingly accurate for a monoracial woman. Barman does not theorize the racist assumptions undermining the denigration of nonwhite stories but rather participates in a counter-hegemonic project seeking to add new narratives of the racially hybrid nation.”  — Michelle La Flamme, BC Studies

Updated and with some new photos, Maria Mahoi of the Islands is on sale from Tanner’s Books, UBC Central and all the finer brick and mortar bookstores in British Columbia, and certainly from the People’s Co-op Bookstore on Commercial Drive, to say nothing of the real Amazon.