Contributor- Keluia Kailiena Kaluhiwa, Kailua, North Kona, Hawaiʻi.

[Photo: Queen Kaahumanu; Hawaii. Lithograph of Choris Drawing SP 29142.]

(Translation by Mary Kawena Pukui)

ʻIke i ka wai ʻula ʻili ahi o Waimea,

Know the reddish-colored stream of Waimea,

He wai ʻula ia na ke Kiu wai ʻahulu.

A reddish water from the home of the cold Kiu breeze.

Ke oko ala i ka poli o ka pōhaku,

It ripples along over the bosoms of rocks,

Me he hana wai ala i ka houpo o ke kai,

Reddening the bosom of the sea like menstrual blood,

E luhi ʻoe a ua neʻi i ka moe,

You may be weary of sleeping so long.

Ke ʻālapalapa i ke one o Luhi ē.

Washing up on the sands of Luhi.

Inā ke aloha lā, he ʻai liliha

Love is here, a food that is rich,

Ua ʻike ē.

This is known.

[MS SC Roberts 2.4, p. 205b-207]

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.


This project is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services NG-04-17-0218-17