Contributor- Rev. William M. Kalaiwaʻa, Kamuela, South Kohala, Hawaiʻi. Mele olioli.

Image caption: Rev. William Kalaiwaʻa of Kohala, Hawaii. SP_10488
(Translation by Mary Kawena Pukui)

Lihaliha i ka hoʻolua ke kini o Puna,

Weary are the inhabitants of Puna with the blowing of the Hoʻolua wind,

Pakuʻikuʻi i ka momona a ke Kiu,

Satiated with an overdose of the Kiu wind,

I nā kōhi kelekele a ka puʻukolu.

Worn out with too much of a good thing even all at once.

A ka Mālualua kiʻi wai mai lalo ē,

The drying Mālualua wind rises from below,

Nāna e kaʻa ka nani ka loa ka laulā o Kēwā,

Blowing over the wide and beautiful stretch of Kēwā,

Awawā ʻia nō e hale kanaka,

Voices are heard about an inhabited house,

Na wai e wawā ka hale kanaka ʻole,

And not about an uninhabited house,

Ua ʻike ā.

This is known.

[MS SC Roberts 2.4, pg. 123b-124]

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