Contributor, Wahineikeouli Paa [Pa], Wet Cave, Hāʻena, Kauaʻi. Mele hula composed by herself sixteen years ago [ca. 1907].
This was composed for the mountain Makana, right above the Hāʻena caves.
(Mele translation provided by Mary Kawena Pukui)
Ka poli lauaʻe kaʻu aloha
I love the lauaʻe-covered bosom
A Makana hoʻi e hiʻi mai nei.
Which Makana holds up.
Hiʻipoi ʻia e ka Waiamaʻu,
It is fondly held by the Waiamaʻu,
Ka makani kaulana o ka ʻāina.
The famous wind of the land.
Ua like a like me Kanaloa,
Exactly like Kanaloaʻs,
Me ka wai aniani o Kapalaʻe.
Is the crystal water of Kapalaʻe.
Maʻemaʻe ia pua o ka hinahina,
Dainty is the blossom of the hinahina,
Ia lei makahehi a ka malihini.
The lei admired by visitors.
ʻIʻini ka manaʻo e ʻike aku,
The mind desires to see
I ka poli kapu o Lohiʻau ipo.
The sacred bosom of the beloved Lohiʻau.
Kai hāwanawana hone i ka poli.
The sea whose whispering thrills the heart.
Poli o Kilioe, kaʻu ʻanoʻi ai,
The bosom of Kilioe, I am very fond of,
Hoʻopulu ʻia nei e kēhu kai.
It is being wet by the spray of the sea.
ʻAkahi hoʻi au a ʻike maka,
It is the first time I’ve seen for myself
Nā kupa kaulana o ka ʻāina.
The famous natives of the land.
Haʻina ʻia mai ana ka puana
This is the end of my chant
ʻO ka lihilihi o ka poli lauaʻe.
Of the lacy fern that covers the bosom (of the cliff).
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