The island of Kaua'i, home to Laka, goddess of hula
A hula chant tells a story in the forest of Mauna Hina,
a mist-covered mountain on Kaua'i

First three lines, 119 kB .AU
Full verse, 577 kB .AU

Mâpu ka hanu ô ka laua'e
Mâpu noe ka poli ô ka wai aloha
Aloha i ke kapa 'ehu kai,
Huki palai, huki, lohe, noi kahua.
Noe mai la ka lehua makanoe.
Noe ka lehua makanoe,
Noe wiwo'ole i ke anu,
Anu i ke ala kîpapa ola e,
Ala e kuhikuhi lima kanaka 'o Mauna Hina ê.
E hina nô paha 'o wau wale nô.
E hina nô paha e kâua, e ka `aha nui ê.
Alia lae!
He anu, he anu wale nô
Wafted is the breath of the laua'e fern.
The essence of the beloved waters alights like mist.
Beloved is the covering of the sea spray,
Drawing concealment listening, inquiring intently.
The lehua of the misty face brings mist.
The lehua of the misty face brings mist.
The mist unafraid of the cold,
The cold of the pathway of life.
Mauna Hina is a pathway directing mankind.
Perhaps it is just I who will succumb.
Perhaps you and I, or the large assembly, will succumb.
Wait!
Cold, just cold!


large .JPG image, 55 KB

CFP&CS Virtual Festival: Hawaiian mele chant


Early Hawaiians recorded their literature in memory, not writing. They composed and maintained an extensive oral tradition, a body of literature covering every facet of Hawaiian life. Chants, called mele, recorded thousands of years of ancient Polynesian and Hawaiian history.

Chants also recorded the daily life of the Hawaiian people, their love of the land, humor or tragedy, and the heroic character of their leaders. A mele chant is a poetic form of song that tells a story. They can be classified into two general categories, mele oli and mele hula.

Mele oli
Unaccompanied chant, usually performed by one person at ritual occasions such as a birth, a death, or the departure of a ranking chief. Mele oli also recounts historical events and tells stories and legends

Mele hula
Accompanied by dance movements alone, or by dance movements with musical instruments such as the drum, pahu, and gourd rattle, 'uli'uli
Audio: A mele oli entitled "Mapu Ka Hanu O Ka Laua'e (Wafted is the breath of the Laua'e Fern)," performed by Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele.
Hawaiian music | Lu'au | CFCH Home
31 October 1995