E Ho‘okonākonā, e wehe, e kala

[Photo: Sugar cane irrigation ditch; Hawai‘i. Photo by Elias Shura. SP 108819.] E Ho‘okonākonā, e wehe, e kala Happy Mele Monday! Contributed to the collection by Theodore Kelsey, today’s featured mele is a pule kala hana aloha, or a prayer freeing an individual from love magic. According to Pukui, the laukona variety of sugar cane […]

Wa‘ewa‘e

[Photo: Young girl demonstrating Hawaiian string figures; Hawaiʻi; SP 103509.] Wa‘ewa‘e Happy Mele Monday! Featuring another request submitted through our Welo Hou mele survey, today’s composition is a mele hei (string figure chant) contributed to the collection by J.P. Hale. (Mele translation by Mary Kawena Pukui) Wa‘ewa‘e —- O Wa‘ewa‘e Hō mai ka i‘a Give […]

ʻAkahi hoʻi au a ʻike

[Two plantation luna on horseback in sugarcane field; ca. 1888. Waimānalo(?), Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. Photo by J. A. Gonsalves. SP_73201] ʻAkahi hoʻi au a ʻike Happy Mele Monday! Contributed to the collection by Wahineikeaouli Pa, today’s featured mele illustrates the imagery of two horses racing each other to attain a goal. In taking a closer look […]

He kao nui nō

[Photo: Hawaiian children eating sugar cane; Hawaiʻi. ca. 1890-1905. SLS_2071.] He kao nui nō Happy Mele Monday! We would like to express our sincere appreciation for those who have participated in our Welo Hou: Building Connections to the Roberts Mele Collection survey. Your feedback is invaluable and we are diligently working to incorporate your suggestions […]

He ‘awa i kanu ʻia e ke akua

[Grass House and loʻi on Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi. Photograph by Capt. James C. Ayers. SP 79999] He ‘awa i kanu ʻia e ke akua Happy Mele Monday! Contributed to the collection by a resident of Kauaʻi, today’s featured mele is a special request submitted through our Welo Hou: Building Connections to the Roberts Mele Collection survey. […]

Nani Kaʻala, he keiki na Kamaoha

[Photo: Aerial view of Waialua; ca. 1925. Waialua, Oʻahu. Bishop Museum Archives. SP 115919] Nani Kaʻala, he keiki na Kamaoha Happy Mele Monday! Contributed to the collection by Louis Nakeu of Honolulu, today’s featured mele is a love chant that highlights significant places situated on the northwestern side of Oʻahu. Beginning at the top of […]

Kaulana mai nei Kaulaokeahi

[Hawaiian man digging sweet potatoes; Maui, Hawaiʻi. Photo by Ray Jerome Baker. SD_35158.] Kaulana mai nei Kaulaokeahi I ka ho‘olewa aku nei o Kūhelemai. Attended the funeral of Kūhelemai. A play on ho‘olewa (to lift) and kū hele mai (stand up and come), meaning that we stood up and lifted the beer down our throats. […]

Aloha ka uka ʻōpua holu i ka makani

[Photo: Lei pūpū kāhuli, lei made from endemic Hawaiian land snail shells (Achatinella sp.) called kāhuli, strung onto fine cordage. This lei belonged to Princess Liliʻuokalani. Bishop Museum Ethnology Collections object number 1921.014.145. Q_209576] [Photo: Detail of lei pūpū kāhuli, lei made from endemic Hawaiian land snail shells (Achatinella sp.) called kāhuli, strung onto fine […]

Kui nā ʻāpiki lei o Makaiwa

[Photo: Mrs. Kamaka Stillman wearing a maile lei and an ʻilima head lei, ca. 1900-1910; Photo by Alonzo Gartley. SP 90740.] Kui nā ʻāpiki lei o Makaiwa Happy Mele Monday! According to Mary Kawena Pukui, ʻāpiki is another name for the ʻilima flower used in lei making. While some folks abstained from wearing this lei […]

He aloha moku o Keawe

[Photo: S.S. Australia leaving the dock in Honolulu Harbor; Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. Photo by Christian J. Hedemann. SP 207229.] [Photo: S.S. Australia; Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. Photo by Christian J. Hedemann. SP 207230.] He aloha moku o Keawe Happy Mele Monday! Sailing aboard the S.S. Australia, Emalia Kaihumua set out for California to perform hula overseas. While living […]