Contributor Wahineikeaouli Paa [Pa], Wet Cave, Hāʻena, Kauaʻi. Mele hula composed by her for her birthplace. 

(Translation by Mary Kawena Pukui)

Aloha mai au i kuʻu ʻāina

I love my homeland,

I ka loku a ka ua me ka makani.

In the heavy rains and wind.

He aha ka makani e pā nei?

What is that wind now blowing?

He Lanikuʻua paha no Kalalau

Perhaps the Lanikuʻua from Kalalau.

Ka makani kaulana o kuʻu ʻāina

That is the famous wind of my home,

Hoʻonuʻa i ka lau o ka tukui.

Which stirs the leaves of the kukui trees.

ʻO ka uhiwai paha kō Kaʻala,

Perhaps there is a cold fog on Kaʻala,

ʻO ka ʻehu o ke kai, kai ka moana.

With spray a-flying in the ocean.

Ua kohu pūnohu ʻula i ke kai,

It is like a red low-spreading rainbow at sea,

ʻAne like me ka ua lei kōkō ʻula.

Like a low-lying rainbow of the upland.

Ke nihi hele aʻela i nā pali

It moves by before the cliffs

Me ka lihi o ka wai Tuʻauhoe.

Along the edge of the water of Tuʻauhoe.

E ola nō au a mau aku

May I live on always,

E ola nō au a mau aku

May I live on always,

Haʻina ʻia mai ana ka puana

May This is the end of my chant,

O haliʻa i ka poli me ka ulua.

Of the yearning within for the ulua fish.

[MS SC ROBERTS 5.4  p. 134b-136a]

[HAW 1.5a]

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