Aloha nō au iā Kahulimoku

[Photo: Peter Kaawa; Kalaoa, North Kona, Hawaiʻi. ca. 1923; SP 59969.] Aloha nō au iā Kahulimoku Happy Mele Monday! “Mention has already been made of the original difficulty of procuring any ukeke in the field, and of the fact that after continual disappointment on Kauai and Oahu, the first reward for the search occurred in […]

Mary Kawena Pukui

[Photo: Mary Kawena Pukui making a kīkī basket of ʻilima twigs; Waimānalo, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. May 1939; SP_19704_5.] Mary Kawena Pukui “It is hoped that the chants obtained without music may also eventually be studied, translated, and published.” —Helen Roberts, Ancient Hawaiian Music When Helen Heffron Roberts (1888–1985) began her one-year survey of mele as appointed […]

Lahilahi ē, Lahilahi ē

[Photo: Lahilahi Webb; Honolulu, Hawai‘i; SP 216335.] Lahilahi ē, Lahilahi ē Happy Mele Monday! Elizabeth Kealiioiwikinolahilahi Napuaikaumakani Webb was born in Honolulu on April 12, 1862, the daughter of Charles Vincent and Halauai Kekahupuu Rogers. She attended Fort Street School and St. Andrew’s Priory. In 1891, Lahilahi married Harry Hogson Webb of Bangor, Maine. They […]

Aia i Waiehu Pua Loke Lani

[Photo: View of Lahaina waterfront; Lahaina, Maui, Hawaiʻi. ca. 1930.; SP 120999.] Aia i Waiehu Pua Loke Lani Happy Mele Monday! Today’s featured mele dates back to 1884 and is performed as a hula pūʻili. Composed during his time on Maui, J.P. Hale draws poetic inspiration from his surrounding environment as he alludes to expressions […]

Ke Kumuhana o ke Ola o ke Kanaka

[Kiaaina; Hawaiʻi; Photo by Theodore Kelsey; SP 39805] Ke Kumuhana o ke Ola o ke Kanaka Happy Mele Monday! “For the Hawaiian of the past, all times and every time were indeed occasions for prayer. ʻLong before the missionaries came, Hawaiians were haipule, religious.’ Says Mary Kawena Pukui. ‘Everything they did, they did with prayer.’” […]

Kāua i ka Nani o Hilo

[Photo: Seated hula dancers with ipu hula at ʻIolani Palace grounds for King Kalākaua’s birthday; Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. The Royal bandstand can be seen in the background.; ca. November 1885; SP 209717.] Kāua i ka Nani o Hilo Happy Mele Monday! In honor of King Kalākaua’s birthday celebrated on November 16, we feature a mele hula […]

Ē Hina, ē Hinahele

[Photo: Pele Pukui Suganuma with gourd drum (ipu hula); Hawaiʻi; ca. 1962; SP 30108.] Ē Hina, ē Hinahele Happy Mele Monday! Today’s featured mele is performed as a hula ipu and tells the story of a man whose wife was stolen from him by another. The composer likens his rival to a bird who will […]

Aia i Makaoa ka Lua o ke Ala

[Photo: Pāʻū riders; Hawaiʻi.; ca. 1880; Photographed by H.L. Chase; SP 209717.][Photo: Pāʻū rider; Hawaiʻi; ca. 1900; SP 77131.][Photo: Pāʻū riders on the island of Kauaʻi; Nāwiliwili, Kauaʻi; ca. 1890; SP 38127.] Previous Next Aia i Makaoa ka Lua o ke Ala “Do not move in my direction, for you are a horse with an […]

Kanikau Nalimu

[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 […]

Wa‘ewa‘e

[Photo: Young girl demonstrating Hawaiian string figures; Hawaiʻi; SP 103509.] Wa‘ewa‘e Happy Mele Monday! Today we feature a mele hei, or 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 me fish ‘A‘ohe i‘a   I have no fish Kā […]