Contributor- Waiwaiole Ka La [Kala Waiwaiole], Kapaʻa, Kauaʻi. Mele olioli no Molokaʻi. [Chant from Molokaʻi.]

(Translation by Mary Kawena Pukui)

ʻUla Kalaeloa i ka lepo a ka makani,

Red is Kalaeloa with dust raised by the wind,

Kai hoʻonuʻanuʻa ʻia ʻāpua Kalamaʻula,

The dust collects at Kalamaʻula as though it were a basket,

ʻIke kuʻu manaʻo iaʻu kula.

At the sight of it I thought of my plain.

Hea mai Kaiolohia,

Kaiolohia calls to me,

ʻEu hoʻi māua i Kāʻana ē.

To return to Kāʻana.

Aloha iaʻu ke kula o Niniwai.

In love am I with the plain of Niniwai,

Oʻu hoa i Kalaʻiakamanu ē,

With my companions at Kalaʻiakamanu (haunt of birds),

Manu a hoa laukona i ke keʻe lau,

Bird companions that shy away among the leaves,

Auʻa ʻia e ka moe i na ke loha lā he ʻai lili kā,

Love that is dreamt of is held back by jealousy,

Aia ua ʻike au.

This is known.

[MS SC Roberts 2.7, pg. 166c-168a]

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