No Hilo ‘oe
Happy Mele Monday!
Today’s featured mele speaks about the beauty of Hawaiʻi Island and highlights notable characteristics associated with each district.
(Mele translation by Mary Kawena Pukui)
Contributor – Theodore Kelsey, Hilo, Hawai‘i.
No Hilo ‘oe … You are from Hilo
No Hilo hea? … What Hilo?
No Hilo i ka ua kani lehua … Hilo of the Kanilehua rain
No Puna ‘oe, etc … You are from Puna
No Puna i ka paia ‘ala i ka hala … Puna of the fragrant hala groves
No Ka‘ū ‘oe, etc. … You are from Ka‘ū
No ka wai hū mai o Kauila … Of the gushing water of Kauila
No Kona ‘oe etc. … You are from Kona
No Kona Kailua i ka paka ona … Kailua in Kona where potent tobacco grows
No Kohala ‘oe etc. … You are from Kohala
No Kohala i ka makani ‘Āpa‘apa‘a … Kohala of the ‘Āpa‘apa‘a wind
No Hāmākua ‘oe etc. … You are from Hāmākua
No Hāmākua wau i ke ‘ala ‘ūlili … Of Hāmākua where the sheer cliff trails are
[Call Number: MS SC Roberts 4.2 , Pg. 82-83]
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.