Singer- Samuela Akoni Mika. Waiākea Homesteads, Hilo, Hawaiʻi. Mele hula lāʻau ma Hawaiʻi nei. A mele of Koʻokoʻolau. Learned from his parents on Kauaʻi.

[Photo: Pele Pukui Suganuma playing hula sticks (kāla’au); Hawaii. SP 30114] (Translation by Mary Kawena Pukui)

A ka lae i Koʻokoʻolau ka makani,

The wind, at the point of Koʻokoʻolau,

Huli maila ka ʻino hele i waho,

Turns into a storm and goes out,

Popoʻi akula i ka lae hala o Waʻawaʻa.

It pounces on the hala covered point of Waʻawaʻa.

Me he waʻa kaulua ala Puna i ka makani,

Puna is like a double canoe in the wind,

Me he pūnua noio ala i ke kai,

Like a noio fledging in the sea,

ʻOāʻoā me he hula kālaʻau ala.

Whose cries is like the striking of sticks in the hula kālaʻau.

[Call number: MS SC 5.4, Pg. 76]

[Audio: HAW 1.4b, Track 5]

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