Laua‘e o Nu‘uanu

Author: 
Manu Boyd

 

Photo: Kīhei de Silva

When crushed, the laua‘e fern yields a fragrance reminiscent of maile. For this reason, perhaps, the word laua‘e means "beloved, sweet, as a lover," and ho‘olaua‘e, its causative/simulative form, means "to cherish, as a beloved memory."

 

Composed by Manu Boyd, on April 20, 2002, “after picking laua'e in Nu'uanu for my hula brother's baby's 'aha'aina piha makahiki. Hula brother: Alvin “Gunnie” Hanzawa. Baby: (Gunnie’s and Tweedles’ third), Maya Kahiluonapuaopi'ilani. Pickers: Me, Kyle “Boongie” Atabay, Kasey Ke'ala-boy Chock, Frank and Melia Among.

 

Laua'e o Nu'uanu ko'u ho'ohihi
Ke 'ala e moani i ke kualono

Ho'olono i ka leo o ka hui manu                
E walea hau'oli ana i ka la'i

Ua la'i Lanihuli i ka wēkiu
Ku'u lei 'āhihi kau mai i luna

I luna nō au me ke onaona
Ka melia melemele hone i ka poli

Polinahe ka puana o neia mele
Laua'e o Nu'uanu ko'u ho'ohihi

Puana 'ia mai no ka laua'e
Konikoni lua ia 'ala ke honi      

The laua'e of Nu'uanu has caught my attention
Its fragrance perfumes the mountain ridge

Hear the din of the birds
As they happily delight in the calm

Peaceful is Lanihuli at its highest point
Where my lei of 'āhihi lehua remains

I ascend with the fragrance
Of yellow melia that stirs the heart

Soft and sweet, my song's refrain
My admiration is for the laua'e of Nu'uanu

The story is told for the verdant laua'e
Whose fragrance tingles doubly when breathed in  

 

    

 

 

 

© Manu Boyd, 2002.