Maika‘i ‘o Hā‘upu

Kipi Brown


Kīhei de Silva
“Maika'i ‘o Hā'upu, mauna kilohana.” ‘Alekoko Fishpond, Hūlē‘ia River, and Mount Hā'upu as seen from the roadside above ‘Alekoko.

I finished this mele on a rainy morning at Niumalu Park, Kaua'i, in the shadow of what the tour industry has identified for years as Queen Victoria shaking a finger at her errant son and admonishing him with a stern, “Now, Willie-Willie.” The mele was composed in response to these and other abuses visited by the po'e 'ē upon Hā'upu Ridge and the cliff-face of Hinaiuka, to wit: the construction on Hā'upu of the Stangl Broadcasting Co.'s 250 foot, red and white radio tower, "complete with a constantly blinking red light" (Ka Wai Ola o OHA, Mei 1998). The tower was completed in March 1998 in spite of community opposition and the Federal Communication Commission's apparent failure to examine the process by which a state agency approved of Stangl's project "without adequate community notice" and without apparent regard to the FCC's own "non-negotiable duty" to protect traditional Native Hawaiian sites from intrusive development. Verse four of the mele addresses the opportunistic mentality of these developers: they are mound-perching kōlea who have adorned Hā'upu with a "hat pin." Verse five addresses the flawed political process by which the tower was approved: the "arranging of kauila trees at Pu'ukapele" is Samuel Kamakau's metaphor for a government that loses track of its own power and accountability. Verse six confirms the traditional relationship between Hā'upu and its people. And verse seven speaks of aloha 'āina, the "thing" that will not go away, that persists unabated: our love for the land.

Maika'i 'o Hā'upu mauna kilohana
Kohu 'ole me ke alo a'o Vikolia.
Alia mai 'oe, aia ka pua'a
'O ka 'ohu nō ia e wānana ua.
'O ka ua Ala'oli ka'u i aloha
Ne'e 'kula i ka poli a'o Niumalu.
'Ōmamalu ko kino i ka pine po'o
'O ka wehi nō ia na ke kau 'āhua
Ahuwale ke kauila a'o Pu'ukapele
Ua ho'onoho 'ia e Kahilikolo
Hilina'i 'o Kīpū kalelei iā Hina
Kīpu'u 'ia i ka puaaneane
'Ane'ane nō wau e uē iho
I ka mea unonoke he aloha 'āina
Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana
No luna ke 'ala a'o Hinaiuka.

Hā'upu is beautiful, the best of mountains
And bears no resemblance to Victoria's Profile.
Wait a bit, there is the "pig"
It is the cloud that predicts rain.
The Ala'oli rain is what I love
As it moves across the heart of Niumalu.
Your body is overshadowed by the hat pin
It is the adornment of the mound-percher.
The kauila trees of Pu'ukapele are exposed
They have been arranged by Kahilikolo.
Kīpū relies on, gazes respectfully at Hina
They are bound together until life's end.
I am close to tears
Over this persistent thing, aloha 'āina.
The summary is told
The fragrance of Hinaiuka belongs to the uplands.


© Kipi Brown, 1998