Contributor-Kapeliela Malani, Kawaihae, South Kohala, Hawaiʻi.
[Photo: Landing at Kawaihae, Hawaiʻi, with Puʻukoholā Heiau in the distance. SP 207395.]
(Translation by Mary Kawena Pukui)
Aia i Kohala kaʻu aloha,
My sweetheart is in Kohala,
Ka ua nāulu o Kawaihae.
With the wind-borne rain of Kawaihae.
Hae ana Wapine i ke aumoe,
Wapine sets up a barking late at night,
Ka ʻīlio hanu hele ma ka meheu.
That dog that sniffs at the footprints.
Na ke kelepona au i haʻi mai,
It was the telephone that told me,
Ua noho hope ʻoe no kō lei.
That you are again with your darling.
I laila kulu iho kuʻu waimaka,
Then my tears began to gather,
Hoʻopulu ʻana i ka lau lihilihi.
Wetting the tips of my lashes.
He lihi kuleana koʻu iā ʻoe,
I have some right to you,
Ua hoʻopaʻa ʻia ia ka puʻuwai.
For you are imprinted in my heart.
Na wai ʻole koʻu aloha,
How can I help loving,
I ka ua loku mai i ka nahele.
The rain that pours in the forest.
O hele i ka lā o ke kauoha,
Go and obey the command given you,
A hoʻi mai ʻoe pili kāua.
Then come back to be with me.
ʻO ʻoe a ʻo wau kai ʻike iho,
You and I have known
I nei mea nui lā he aloha,
This great thing called love.
Haʻina ʻia mai ana ka puana,
This ends my chant,
ʻEono nō pua lawa kuʻu lei.
For the six flowers that complete my lei.
[MS SC Roberts 2.5, Pg. p. 26b-29a]
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