Ike ia Nanahuki ke Haa La

Author: 
Kekoa Wong

 

Photo: Kīhei de Silva

Kekoa Wong chanting for his Mililani High School students at the 2005 Hawai‘i Secondary Schools Hula Kahiko Competition.

The old mele hula "Ke Ha’a lā Puna i ka Makani" tells us that all of Puna is a-dance in the wind.  Kekoa Wong expands the scope and intensity of the original piece in his "Ike ia Nanahuki." Wong’s ‘āina runs all the way from Ha‘eha‘e to Maunakea to Hu‘ehu’e; his company of ‘ōlapa includes waves, forests, clouds, mortals, gods, and goddesses; and the rhythms to which they ha‘a are generated by ‘ili‘ili, pahu, ipu, and kālā‘au.  All of this contributes to the mele’s sense of absolute, uncompromised vigor.  There is nothing half-attentive or half-present in the world described by this mele, nor are there any wall-flowers. 

Ike ia Nanahuki ke haa la
He olapa holo i ka ili'ili o Keaau
Ke au huki e, ke au huki la
Hopoe ka lehua a kiekie
Wehiwehi ke lei ula i laila
Ka pua ena ena o Puna
Pahu wawa o ka ili
Wawa nuu i Mauna Kea
Ka poli lua o Pele
Ulu lehua ke kiohuohu
Ke haa la i ka palikapu
Pa‘u koekoe a ka hakuma
Ma luna o ka ma‘u pawehe
Aala ka lauae e mapu a'e
Ke olo ipu i uka i ke kuahiwi
Ke poi ehu kai i Haehae
Ka ulei ka laau i ke kupinai
Ala ka hinano i ka nani
Kupee uliuli ka ulili i kai
I ka uluwehi o Hiiaka
O Hiiaka i hehi ke poo o Huehue
He inoa no o Hiiakaikapoliopele

Known is Nanahuki of the dance
Which moves about the iliili at Keaau
It draws upon and entices
The tall lehua tress beloved of Hopoe
There, her sacred adornment unfolds
Puna, known for its abundant blossoms too
Resounds to the shark skin
From the peak of Mauna Kea
Within the bosom of Pele
Where the dew moistens the lehua groves
As the sacred cliff shows forth the dances of the gods
The skirt dampened by the thick clouds
Upon the saturating mat
As the fragrant lauae wafts about
The gourd sounds in the upland
At Haehae crashes the sea spray
Of the resounding ulei branches gesturing
Where the fragrant hinano blooms
At the water’s edge the kupee encounters the ulili
Recognized is the adornment of Hiiaka
Hiiaka who steps upon the summit of Huehue
In the name of Hiiakaikapoliopele

 

© Kekoa Wong 2005