I always felt that the book was never finished, that there were stories in my mind that I'd never explored and images in my mind that I'd never photographed," said Linda Ching on the subject of why she decided to produce a new edition of her book "Hawaiian Goddesses," a 1987 collection of ancient stories vividly illustrated with Ching's pictures. "One of the main factors, too, was that the hardcover had been out of print for 10 years and I'd had so many requests to bring the book back."
Rather than simply reprint the book as written, however, Ching decided to add one new myth (a Maui story) and employ some new models, her original goddesses having grown from mere children to young women with children of their own. In fact, during an April reunion with the first edition models, Ching spotted at least one keiki who would make a wonderful bird guardian to La'ieikawai, the rainbow goddess.
And so it was that 6-year-old Kauanani Daniels was selected as a model for Ching's "Hawaiian Goddesses, 'Alua -- Second Generation," just released this week. Is it mere coincidence that Kauanani's mother Kaleo, at the tender age of 13, played a bird guardian herself? Ching isn't so sure.
"They both share a wonderful spirit and a lovely essence," she said.
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