For a free curriculum guide to this book, click on here.


Tutu's Quilt cover

When Silver Needles Swam, 1998 cloth-bound edition









Tutu's Quilt Cover

Tutu's Quilt :: 2012

in English & ma ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i

to purchase a copy, click here.


In the 1970s, I saw an interview on television of an ancient Hawaiian woman who remembered the day in 1898, when the flag came down and Hawai‘i was annexed to the United States. “No one went out,” she said. She went on to tell how everyone stayed inside and closed the windows, even though it was a very hot day. For her and the other Hawaiians, it was a time of mourning.

In 1997, as the hundredth anniversary of annexation neared, I remembered the interview and wrote this story, publishing it the following year under the title When Silver Needles Swam. The book soon attracted attention, not just in Hawai‘i but in the rest of the country as well, and received along with other Hawaiian language books from Mānoa Press the award Nā Manu a Ka‘ae from ‘Ahahui ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i for helping to preserve the Hawaiian language.

After a time, the first edition of When Silver Needles Swam went out of print. It was not until recently that I decided to republish the book. I changed the title to Tutu’s Quilt, re-edited portions of the text, and added pictures that did not appear in the original edition. The result is this print-on-demand book, available at





Mānoa Press

Leslie Lang

Art Director:
James Rumford