Mele Ho‘okipa O‘ahu

Author: 
Manu Boyd

 

Photo: HSA
 
Prince Jonah Kuhiō Kalaniana‘ole, founder of the first Hawaiian civic club in 1918. Visit the Hawaiian Civic Club of Honolulu website for an account of the mana’o that inspired this event. >>

This oli komo was composed for the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs Convention held in Waikīkī, O‘ahu, on October 26, 2006. As hosts of the event, the clubs of Kākuhiwa bid welcome to their non-O‘ahu compatriots and asked them to enter the ballroom of the Waikīkī Marriott Hotel. The mele carefully avoids naming the hotel or allowing non-Hawaiian elements to intrude upon native space; the reference, instead, is to what lies beneath, to what came before: to Hamohamo, the Waikīkī residence of ‘Aikanaka, the maternal grandfather of Lili‘uokalani. Hamohamo was inherited by Lili‘u upon the passing of ‘Aikanaka, and it became, for her, a place of respite and inspiration. This is the la‘i ‘olu that the poet invokes and the foundation upon which he means the convention to stand. The poet has asked us, moreover, to recognize the late John Kaimikaua as the source of the mele’s third line: "Ōhāhā ka hua kūpuna -- The fruits of our ancestors flourish." Kaimikaua’s maxim served, in fact, as the theme of this year’s convention.

 

E kipa mai i ka la‘i ‘olu o Hamohamo
I ke one kaulana o Kākuhihewa
Ōhāhā ka hua kūpuna ē
‘O ka lei wehi no Kalaniana‘ole
Ua pa‘a ke aloha no ka ‘āina ē
Aloha O‘ahu ē! E kipa mai ho‘i ē!

We bid you welcome to the peaceful realm of Hamohamo
Upon the famed sands of Kākuhihewa, our royal ancestor
Indeed, the fruits of knowledge of our ancestors flourish
And are worn as an adornment for Kalaniana‘ole
Our love for this land is unwavering
Love to O‘ahu! Welcome to all!

 

© Manu Boyd 2006