Hoʻi au e pili me Kaʻuiki

Singer- Mrs. Lucy Kapohaialii Kaili. Born Waipiʻo Hawaii.

Mele olioli or Hōʻaeʻae for the sister of Kamehameha III, Kauikeaouli, Nāhiʻenaʻena.

[Caption: : Nāhiʻenaʻena, Princess of the Sandwich Islands. Artist: Robert Dampier. Image number SP 29172A.]

Hoʻi au e pili me Kaʻuiki; uoki ē,

I go to be close to Kaʻuiki; leave it alone,

He nanahe ʻūpalu nō ko laila kini, uoki ē,

Gentle and mild are its inhabitants, leave it alone,

E akahele mai ʻoe Makana iā kāua, uoki ē,

Be careful how you treat us; leave it alone,

A uoki ē.

Leave it alone.

He aha ka hana a Kaukaʻōpua? Uoki ē,

What does Kaukaʻōpua do? Leave it alone,

Paheʻe, pakika kāua i ka welowelo, uoki ē,

We slip and slide all the way; leave it alone,

I laila hoʻohihi ka manaʻo, uoki ē,

There the mind became entranced, leave it alone,

Hōʻeu nā hono a o Piʻilani, uoki ē,

It stirs the lands of Piʻilani, leave it alone,

A uoki ē.

Leave it alone.

[MS SC Roberts 5.2 Pg. 75-76]

[HAW 1.2c, Track 21]

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


One Comment

  1. R.Kahalehau December 19, 2018 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    This is a beautiful mele! Nahienaena has always intrigued me. Her life is not well documented (at least not openly or in published material) thus making her a character of mystery. Iʻm glad to learn of this mele olioli written for her and would be interested in hearing more. As an aside, I also wonder about the cloack she is wearing. So much to learn. Mahalo for sharing this with us.

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