Contributor- Iwikauikaua, Nāpoʻopoʻo, South Kona, Hawaiʻi. Mele no Hiʻiaka. [Mele for Hiʻiaka.]
(Translation and excerpt by Mary Kawena Pukui)
A luna au o Puʻuonioni,
I stand up at Puʻuonioni,
Noho ke anaina a ka wahine,
And look down on the concourse of women,
Kilohi a kuʻu maka i lalo o Wahinekapu,
I glance down on Wahinekapu,
He kaulu ʻo Wahinekapu,
A beautiful spot, Wahinekapu,
He oʻioʻina ʻo Kīlauea,
A resting place to Kīlauea,
He hale noho ʻo Papalauahi.
A dwelling place is Papalauahi.
Ke lauahi maila ʻo Pele iā Puna,
Pele spreads her lava down to Puna,
Ua one ʻā kai o Malama.
Leaving black cinders by the sea of Malama.
E mālama i ke kanaka,
Take care of the people, [O Pele]
O kipa hewa ke aloha i ka ʻīlio,
Lest your love be wasted on a dog,
He ʻīlio ia, he kanaka wau.
The other is a dog, I am a person.
[MS SC Roberts 2.3a, pg. 83b-85a]
[HAW 1.6a, Track 17.]
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