He Ala Kamaha‘o i ka Lewa

Author: 
Chad Takatsugi

 

Lee Henry

“Kāhiko nō kau i ka lani / Pili pa‘a i ka poli o nā Hawai‘i ē. It is an adornment most fitting; a lei placed in the heavens / And held ever close to the heart of Hawaiians.” Left to right: Sherri Orton, Rhonda Tirrell (mau loa ka hali‘a aloha), Debra Downey.

Composed as a possible opening oli for Ale‘a’s third CD release, this chant “was inspired by the idea of a celestial lei…it speaks of the sacred journey the sun makes across the sky, its path stringing a special lei comprised of the blossoms that are the islands of Hawai‘i.”

He ala kamaha‘o i ka lewa
Holo mai ke ola o luna nei
Kui ‘ia e ka lā ka lei aloha
No ka lani ka lei wehi o ka ‘āina
Me ka pua ko‘olihi o Keawe
Me ka pua hau kokolo o Pi‘ilani
Me ka pua ho‘ohihi o Kaululā‘au
Me ka pua kū kahakai o Kanaloa
Me ke pua lau ‘anapa o Lanikāula
Me ka pua lei ‘āpiki o Kākuhihewa
Me ka pua hemolele o Manokalanipō
Me ka pua hiehie o Kahelelani
Kāhiko nō kau i ka lani
Pili pa‘a i ka poli o nā Hawai‘i ē

There is a wondrous pathway in the heavens
Upon which travels the life-giver of the high places
A beloved lei is strung by the sun
For the heavenly one is this adornment fashioned from the ‘āina
It is strung with the cheek-caressing blossom of Keawe
With the blossom of the cool, creeping mist of Pi‘ilani
With the entrancing blossom of Kaululā‘au
With the beach-growing blossom of Kanaloa
With the shimmering-leafed blossom of Lanikāula
With the mischief-attracting blossom of Kākuhihewa
With the flawless blossom of Manokalanipō
With the elegant blossom of Kahelelani
It is an adornment most fitting; a lei placed in the heavens
And held ever close to the heart of Hawaiians.
 

© Chad Takatsugi, 2003