Wednesday, August 12, 2009

E ho'i ke aloha i Ni'ihau

E nā makamaka aloha nui 'ia, Welina me ke aloha! Oh, it's time for a mele today. I've decided to share a traditional mele and hula kahiko for Queen Kapi'olani. There are many chants written for our ali'i and Queen Kapi'olani is no exception. This particular mele speaks of Kapi'olani's journey to the island of Ni'ihau. After her visit, the people wrote this mele for her, commemorating the time she spent on their island. In the first verse we learn of "ka wai huna a ka pao'o", the hidden waters of the pao'o fish. The pao'o is a type of 'o'opu that can jump from one tide pool to the next. Ni'ihau is known for tidepools along the seashore and the pao'o can be seen jumping to and fro. In the second verse we learn about ka 'ulu hua i ka hāpapa, the low lying breadfruit trees that grow in the sand and are easily accessible and ke kō 'eli a 'o Hālāli'i the famous sugar cane stalks that were used in traditional ceremony. Hālāli'i is mentioned as both a place name on Ni'ihau and the name of a beloved chief. In the third verse we learn of the hot sun, 'o ka la welawela i ke kula, that beams upon the plains of Ni'ihau causing one to turn his back toward Kaua'i, huli aku ke alo i Kaua'i. The fourth verse speaks of Nihoa, eia Nihoa ma hope i ka moku hāpapa i ke kai, the flat atoll clearly visible from Ni'ihau. The final verse honors Kapi'olani for whom this mele is written. Hā'ina 'ia mai ka puana, no Kapi'olani nō he inoa. He inoa no Kapi'olani. Now, listen to the mele, envision the poetry I've shared and enjoy! Aloha nō, a hui hou.

CLICK HERE to listen to and download the Morning Mana'o Podcast. The mele can be heard in its entirety on the podcast site.

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