[Photo: Rev. H.B. Nalimu. Born in 1835; Pāpaʻaloa, Hawaiʻi. SP 215173.]

Aloha ku‘u Haku i ka Ua Kanilehua

Happy Mele Monday! 

Today’s mele kanikau was contributed to the Roberts Mele Collection by Reverend H.B. Nalimu. Born in Pāpaʻaloa, Hilo, Reverend Nalimu was known for his expertise in mele, traditional bird catching, and fishing.

(Translation by Mary Kawena Pukui)  

Aloha ku‘u haku i ka ua Kanilehua  Beloved is my lord of the Kanilehua rains

I ka ua nihi a‘e ma uka o Mokaulele  The rain that sneaks by in the uplands of Mokaulele

Lele ke aloha mokumoku i ka mana‘o  Grief follows hither causing agony to the mind

I mana‘o aku ho‘i au  I had thought

I hoapili ‘oe no‘u  That you would remain close to me

Eia kā e ha‘alele mai ana ‘oe iā kāua  But instead youve deserted me

[Call Number: MS SC Roberts 4.2, Pg. 106-107]

Mele are an invaluable primary resource for Hawaiian scholarship and cultural connection. The Welo Hou: Building Connections to the Roberts Mele Collection project, funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, will improve the digitization, indexing, and accessibility of a unique and treasured collection of mele dating from pre-Western contact to the early 1900s. This pilot project will serve as a model for improved access to and increased engagement with the Bishop Museum Library & Archives’ other mele collections.

Welo Hou, or to unfurl once again, aims to provide more opportunities for researchers of all levels of Hawaiian language and cultural fluency to access the Roberts Collection with ease, and honors the connections between Hawaiian voices of the past and our community of the present.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *