Kahu ka ʻena i ka imu kai koʻo hana uahi loa

Kahu ka ʻena i ka imu kai koʻo hana uahi loa

Contributor- Mrs. Kailianu Iakopa. A mele olioli more old than she, which is 62 years. Lihue.

“An old mele. This is how we know that the ʻōʻō birds of this island [Oʻahu] used to go to Pearl Harbor to feed. It must have been quite a forest in the old days. Now all gone.” -Lahilahi Webb

Kahu ka ʻena i ka imu kai koʻo hana uahi loa

Roaring like a burning imu is the raging sea, sending up a cloud of mist

Mai Kaʻena nō a Waialua

From Kaena to Waialua,

ʻAʻole i pilia ka lae o Kahuku

Leaving the point of Kahuku untouched

Ka aukuku nalu kai a ke Koʻolau

(No translation provided)

Ka aukuku nalu kai a ke Koʻolau

(No translation provided)

I Waialua nō ka pō ʻana

As night descends on Waialua.

He leo kā ko kahakai o Ewa e hoʻolono

The voices are heard at the sea shore of ʻEwa,

ʻŌʻū leo leʻa ka manu o Kaupeʻa

The birds of Kaupeʻa, singing gaily,

Ka ʻŌʻō manu leo leʻa o Puʻuloa

The pleasing-voiced ʻŌʻō bird at Puʻuloa,

E hoʻonaele ana i ka pua o ka wiliwili,

That dip their beaks into the blossoms of the wiliwili,

Inu i hola ka manu, ʻona, kunewa,

The birds sip until they stagger, satiated,

Kakaʻa lelehu ka maka i ka wai o Kaiona ē

Their eyes stray sleepily toward the water of Kaiona,

I aha ʻia lā ke kai o Waimalu

What has happened to the sea of Waimalu,

I kāpala kuhinu ʻia e ka makani

For it is smeared and daubed by the wind.

I hopua e ka ea nono ka lāʻau

The colors are picked up to tint the trees,

Aweaula i luna o ka piko o ka lau kalo

Red streaks lie over the center of the taro leaves,

Ulu loa ha i ke kai o Kuloloia

Much reddened by the sea of Kuloloia.

E kaʻeo e ea mai ana kā ʻoe iaʻu

So you become offended with me.

Me he hana kaulaʻi lā i ka moe

As something put out to dry in a dream,

I pā ʻia mai e kekahi kanaka

And handled by another man.

He āiwaiwa ʻo ia ala i ka mahuʻi i kulana ē

He is a wonder at guessing what one’s character is like.

[MS_SC_Roberts_2_6_6b_9]

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

2018-07-01T07:20:53+00:00Welo Hou|

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