Kākuhihewa (Aia i Honolulu Ku‘u Pōhaku)

An Essay by Kīhei de Silva                                                               << HMI MM preview 2014                                                   

Haku Mele:  Unknown.

Sources: 1) “Kākuhihewa,” as shared with us in 2005 by Robert Cazimero who learned it from Uncle Henry Moikehaotahiti Pa.  2) “Kakuhihewa,” 1981 Merrie Monarch Festival Program; it was that year’s required mele for kāne in the kahiko division.

Our Text:  As shared with us by Robert Cazimero from the collection of Henry Pa.

This is the second of a pair of enigmatic chants composed by several (or a solitary) riddle-making haku mele of the 19th century whose ability to hide specific meaning in the imagery of stones, birds, blossoms, maile, and sea-spray leaves us shaking our heads in wonder. “Kuailo!”1 we mutter, at every twist and turn.

The first mele of this pair is addressed to “Kamakaiouli” (Lot Kaupuaiwa Kamakaiouli Kamehameha).2 It begins with: “Aia i Honolulu kuu pohaku / O Kealohilani kuu haku ia,” and it ends with: “Hea aku no wau o mai oe / O Kamakaiouli kou inoa.” The other is addressed to “Kākuhihewa” (either the 17th century O‘ahu chief or, perhaps, an unnamed Kākuhihiwa of the poet’s day). It begins with: “Aia i Honolulu ku‘u pōhaku / No Kākuhihewa ko‘u haku ia,” and it ends with “Hea aku mākou eō mai ‘oe / No Kākuhihewa ko‘u haku ia.” For all we know, they might not even be a pair, but their shared first line, make‘e haku3 sentiments, “hea aku, ō mai” conclusions, and especially the 1929-1930 nūpepa commentary inspired by the first of these, gives us a something of a foothold for informed guesses about ours, which is the second.

The article “He Mele no Kamehameha V” published in the December 5, 1929, edition of Alakai o Hawaii announced to the “hoa uhai a holo o ka nupepa” that subsequent issues of the paper would offer a line-by-line discussion of this familiar but ambiguous mele.4 The article introduced the six experts who would share their opinions with the Alakai readership (Paulo Kapanookalani,5 Fred Kahapula Beckley, David Malo Kupihea, James Iokepa, Rev. Nalimu, and J. P. Kuluwaimaka), and it offered the reward of a year’s free subscription to the Alaka‘i for the best reader-submitted explanation of the mele.

We have been able to track the series through the rest of 1929 and into January of the next year (including a correction in text submitted by Kuluwaimaka and a complete analysis submitted by G. M. Kauluwehi of Kalaupapa), but not to the conclusion and reward promised at the outset by Lunahooponopono Jonah Kumalae. We take comfort in the wide-ranging, makawalu nature of the analysis contained in these articles6 – not because the six experts arrive at a conclusive answer to the riddles of Kākuhihewa and Kealohilani – they don’t – but because they demonstrate the many different and sometimes off-the-wall opinions that even loea can hold. We don’t feel so insecure about brainstorming when we see them going through the same process. With regard, for example, to the place name Mokaulele in the mele’s fifth line (“O a‘u lehua i Mokaulele”), Kahapula thinks it refers, in part, to the lele (altar) on which are placed (kau) the trouble, accusations, lies, and defiance of Lot’s enemies; Nalimu is reminded, in part, of the kāwili manu (bird-snaring), lehua ‘ula, and lehua kea for which this district was famed; and Iokepa suggests:

O ka manao o ka mamala huaolelo, mo, moku; lele, lele na manu, make, kaawale, haalele. I ka haalele ana mai o kekahi wahine ia oe, moku iho la ke kaula a lele ka manu, Mokaulele. 

As for the meaning of this phrase, mo refers to moku (to cut, sever), and lele refers to the flight of a bird (it goes away, it separates itself, it leaves). When a woman leaves you, the cord is cut, and the bird flies away. Hence, Mokaulele.7

Although they don’t see eye-to-eye on details, our experts do agree on the identity of the haku mele, the circumstances under which the mele was composed, its principals, and its overriding sentiments. Ruth Ke‘elikōlani composed it in Hilo (or began it there and finished it in Honolulu, O‘ahu). The pōhaku of its first line was both a stone in Honolulu, Puna, Hawai‘i, and a stone (perhaps the same one) that had been brought, long ago, to Honolulu, O‘ahu.

Regardless of its origin, the stone is symbolic of Lot Kamehameha, to whom Ruth (his older, half-sister) is ultimately loyal despite the turmoil that has made her journey necessary. Lot is in love with Pauahi. Their marriage had been arranged in their childhood by Kina‘u, but Pauhi has now rejected the prince in favor of Charles R. Bishop. The ali‘i families are angered by this turn of events and by the apparent complicity of their haole enemies. “Ua holo ka wela i na mokupuni” – the heat of their displeasure spreads through the islands, ensaring Ruth and drawing her to O’ahu to help resolve the issue.

Our trail of Alaka‘i articles ends before the experts can weigh in on the outcome of Ruth’s mission, but history tells us that Lot met with Pauahi and released her from all obligations. Because Pauahi did not love him, Lot would not stand in the way of her happiness. He defied, with Pauahi, the pressure of their families to join in marriage; despite his own wishes, he chose the noble course.  G. M. Kauluwehi, whose “contest” letter was published on January 2, 1930, offers his understanding of Ruth’s perspective at the close of her mele:

13. “Paa mai Olaa i ka ua noe.” Ma keia ua paa loa ka manao a [Lot] aole e noonoo hou maluna o Pauahi…

15. “Kahiko Poliahu i ka hau anu.” Ma keia ua huli ke kaona o ke mele no ke Aliiwahine Pauahi, o Poliahu e olelo ia nei ma keia pauku, oia no o Pauahi, a o ka hau anu, oia no o Pihopa, he haole, he mea keokeo.

16. “He manao paa ko‘u a hiki aku.” Ma keia wahi o ke mele ua pili ia Keelekolani, ua manao oia e hele e ike ia Pauahi, aka, ua kono e ia mai la e ia hoa Alii ona, a o na laina hope o ke mele he mahalo nui no ka Moi Lota Kamehameha V, a ma ka nana aku i keia mele, ua haku ia he hapa i Hawaii a he hapa i Oahu.

13. “Paa mai Olaa i ka ua noe.” This indicates that Lot is determined to not think again of Pauahi.

15. “Kahiko Poliahu i ka hau anu.” Here the kaona of the mele turns to Kealii-wahine Pauahi; the Poliahu that is spoken of in this section is Pauahi, and the cold snow is Bishop, a haole, a white person.

16. “He mana‘o paa ko‘u a hiki aku.” This part of the mele concerns Ke‘elikolani who had planned to speak to Pauahi, but [Pauahi] had already met with this ali‘i friend of hers [Lot], and so the last line of the mele is an expression of [Ruth’s] great admiration for King Lot Kamehameha V8, and it can be seen by looking at this mele that it was composed in part on Hawaii [Island] and in part on O‘ahu.9

The trajectory of this “Aia i Honolulu” takes us from Hawai‘i to O‘ahu, from controversy to resolution, and from worrying about Lot to admiring his courage and nobility. The trajectory of “Kākuhihewa” – the second “Aia i Honolulu” – takes us on a much shorter, O‘ahu-specific journey: from the stone in Honolulu town to the Kūkaniloko stones on the Wahiawā plain, from the residence of O‘ahu’s current ruling class to the birthplace of O‘ahu’s ancestral ali‘i, from today’s Kākuhihewa to the Kākuhihewa of old. Where the former “Aia i Honolulu” describes a journey across the islands to address and resolve a heated war of words; the latter seems to describe a digging-in, an ‘oni-a-pa‘a entrenching movement by which the poet confirms his/her loyalty to the Kākuhihewa of then and now.

Most of our mele is taken up with the beauty of Kūkaniloko and its surroundings. We savor the beauty of lehua, maile, and ‘ōhelo. We dally with the forest goddess responsible for this verdure. And we are reminded of the lei-stringing, li‘a-like cravings that have, over the course of many generations, produced the “pua kanu” of Kūkaniloko: the hereditary flower-descendants of that sacred place. Our poet, is drawn by an overwhelming desire welling up from within – “ua ahi ua wela mai nei loko”10 – to this place and its ancestry, to the piko where Kākuhihewa is still lord.

What troubles us, what begs for the intercession of the Alakai experts, are the “pua komela” of line four and the “hano ho‘oheno o Kūwili,” the Kūwili noseflute of line 14. Komela, we understand, is a Hawaiianization of the word camellia, the beautiful white, red, pink, or blue-petaled flower of Asian origin that was first introduced to Hawai‘i in 185211 and that was very much a favorite in English and American gardens of the 1800s. Flower symbolism of the Victorian Era (1837 to 1901) associates the flower with “adoration, perfection, and loveliness”; because of its long-lasting bloom and the fact that its petals and calyx remain attached when the flower finally dies, the camellia was also thought to symbolize the devotion of young lovers to each other as well as “everlasting union between lovers.”12

To further complicate our thinking, Komela can also be associated with the 1848 Alexander Dumas Jr. novel, The Lady of the Camellias, (subsequently adapted to the stage in 1852, made into the opera La Traviata by Verdi in 1853, and still-performed today on the English-American stage as Camille). The theme of the Dumas novel and its later manifestations is that of true love thwarted by the need to conform. The courtesan Marguerite is willing to give up her life-style and ill-gotten riches for Armand Duval, a young man of the provinces, but she is thwarted by her lover’s father who will not allow him to marry a woman of her immoral past. The story was not unknown to 19th century Hawaiians; Queen Emma is said to have sung in the chorus of a Honolulu production of La Traviata13, and the heart-stirring story of Camille of Paris (“He Moolelo Hoonaue Puuwai No Ka Ui Nohea Kamilia O Ke Kulanakauhale Alii o Parisa Me Kana Ipo Aloha o Mon. Duvala…”) was published serially in the 1894 Ka Leo O Ka Lahui.

No laila, what we’ve got is “tmi,” too much information and a shortage of filters. If we think of pua komela as a late-coming foreign import, then we might interpret “Kākuhihewa” as a protest against such influence: Where are you O foundation-stone of our island and people? “Malia o loa‘a pono aku ‘oe ma ka lihilihi o pua komela – perhaps you are to be found among all these camellia-blossom outsiders.”

If, at the other extreme, we see the camellia as a symbol of fidelity – of unfading love, of make‘e haku, of ‘ili ‘ula Hawaiians who refused to succumb to western assimilation, then we can interpret “Kākuhihewa” as a celebration of those camellia blossoms of the town who, like their pua kanu sisters of Kūkaniloko, will always honor, adorn, and advance the legacy of Kākuhihewa. Where are you, O foundation stone? Perhaps you are right here in the company of your loyal camellia blossoms. This interpretation is supported by the exuberant first sentence of the first article in first edition of Ka Hoku o Ka Pakipika, the only independent, nationalist Hawaiian nūpepa of its day: “Aloha pua Komela kaua,” it shouts: Camellia blossom greetings to the two of us!14 Undying loyalty to the nation is the unequivocal message here, and its symbol is “pua Komela.”

And if, as a third alternative, we find ourselves looking for specific Hawaiian parallels to Kamilia of Paris, we don’t need to look much further than Lot’s sister Victoria Kamāmalu whose love affair with Marcus Monsarrat (a married haole auctioneer) was broken up by her brothers because it threatened to sully their Kamehameha name.  This interpretation is supported by the appearance of “pua komela” in a pair of mele that seem to argue for Kamāmalu’s right (as in “Pua Hau o Maleka”) to choose her own lovers; in “He mele no ke Aloha,” her desires are expressed as “ake aku ka manao e ike / I ka nani o ka pua komela / I ponia i ka wai Rukini,”15 and in “He Inoa no Emalaina,” the ship Yankee is described as taking away the exiled Monsarrat: “O ka ihu wale no ka‘u i ike / Ma-u ia la ke honi aku / Ka pua Komela pili me ia la / Ka‘u no ia e manao nei.”16 It is possible, then, that the poet of “Kākuhihewa” is asking Kamāmalu to give up her foreign, pua komela fascination, submit to the mores of Hawaiian society, and find an appropriate Kūkaniloko-descended, native husband.

The “Kūwili” riddle at the other end of our mele is equally resistant to solving, but for the opposite reason. Where “pua Komela” calls down a flood of information and possibility, the “hano ho‘oheno” of Kūwili yields almost nothing. We expected to find an O‘ahu equivalent of Ka‘ililauokekoa and “kani ka wī,”17 but there is no mention, in anything we’ve searched, to the sweet nose-flute wooing of a lover at Kūwili Pond in Honolulu. The only reference that bears consideration was recorded by a nūpepa man of Kuokoa who in August 1899 described his train ride from Kūwili Station to the Hale‘iwa Hotel:

I ke kau ana aku o ua poe Naita nei no luna o na kaa, ua kani ae la ka pio a Kaala i ka lihi wai o Kuwili, a hoomaka ae la ka oni ana o na hao, i loko a i waho, ka hana a ke ku‘e nui o ka flywheel, a o ka nee aku la no ia ma ke alahao.

When the aforementioned Knights [Naita o ka Makapeni, Knights of the Pen-nib, the author’s name for the press corps with whom he was traveling] got on board the passenger cars, the whistle of the train Ka‘ala sounded across the watery banks of Kūwili, and the machinery began to judder, inside and out, the work of the big piston on the flywheel, and then we moved off along the track.18

Could the sound of a Kūwili train whistle have been the inspiration for the concluding lines of “Kākuhihewa”? If so, the time-frame of the mele shifts from Ke‘elikōlani’s day to the 1890s or later.  The first leg of Dillinghams OR&L (from Kūwili Depot to Aiea Station) was completed in November 1889.  Ruth died in 1883, Victoria Kamāmalu in 1866, Lot in 1872, and Pauahi in 1884, so all of the principals of the Bishop-Pauahi controversy had passed away, as had the principals of the Kamāmalu-Monsarrat controversy over whom we have made “pua komela” guesses.

What the Kūwili whistle suggests is that “Kākuhihewa” is a very late- or even post-monarchy composition, the work of poet familiar with Ke‘elikōlani’s “Aia i Honolulu Ku‘u Pōhaku” but intent on giving that earlier pōhaku-loyalty a different focus. This is what we think our haku mele is telling us:

Never mind the Kamehameha marriage controversy of days past; that is small potatoes in the face of the loss of our nation. Here in the turmoil of Honolulu, beneath the influx of camellia outsiders (or, alternately, protected still by camellia loyalists) is the foundation stone of the ali‘i named Honolulu who, in ancient days, was placed here to serve his ali‘i ‘ai moku Kākuhihewa.19 This should remind us of other stones – the stones of Kūkaniloko, the sacred birthing place of the long line of O‘ahu ali‘i beginning with Kapawa and including Kākuhihewa – stones that we will never surrender. I am drawn there, to the Wahiawā plain, to the Wai’anae range, to Līhu‘e and Halemano, by the sound of the whistle of the train named Ka‘ala. It is just a short ride from Aiea Station, by horse or carriage, to that place of generation, to the embrace of Li‘awahine and the verdure of lehua, ‘ōhelo, and maile. O how I burn inside for our lāhui’s return to that place and all it means.


Could “Kākuhihewa” be a mele ‘ai pōhaku? It’s a lot to hang on a single, train-whistle hook, but it does hang together well. And we find it preferable to “kuailo.”

Our daughters Kahikina and Kapalai, along with their hula sister Maya Saffery (all three are now kumu hula) learned “Kākuhihewa” from Robert Cazimero in a workshop held in advance – if we remember correctly – of the Sept. 4, 2005, Kū i ka Pono march to Kūkaniloko where members of the ‘Īlio‘ulaokalani Coalition offered this mele hula to honor Oahu’s piko and line of ruling chiefs, and to protest the Stryker Brigade’s presence on the Wahiawā plain. We have performed “Kākuhihewa” regularly in the intervening years, but we felt it important that Robert review it again with us before we take it to Hilo for the Merrie Monarch Festival. We did this in January 2014, and we have Robert’s approval for what will follow. It is now our job to live up to his trust and generosity.


Aia i Honolulu ku‘u pōhaku           

No Kākuhihewa ko‘u haku ia                  

Malia o loa‘a pono aku ‘oe           

Ma ka lihilihi a‘o pua komela          

‘Ohu‘ohu Halemano me ka lau lehua      

Ua kanu nā pua Kūkaniloko          

Ma loko mai ‘oe me Li‘awahine      

I ke kui ‘ōhelo ‘ai a ka manu          

I luna nō au me Leilehua          

Ke ‘ala o ka maile a‘o Ka‘ala          

Ke ‘ala o ka maile lau li‘ili‘i23      

Ka maile lau li‘i a‘o Ko‘iahi          

Ua ahi ua wela mai nei loko          

Ka hano ho‘oheno a‘o Kūwili          

Hea aku mākou eō mai ‘oe          

No Kākuhihewa ko‘u haku ia.      

There in Honolulu is my pōhaku

For Kākuhihewa is my lord20

You may be discovered

Among the petals of camellia blossoms21

Bedecked is Halemano in lehua leaves

With flowers grown at Kūkaniloko22

Do come in with Li‘awahine

To string ‘ōhelo berries well-liked by birds

I was up yonder with Leilehua

And the scent of the maile at Ka‘ala

Fragrant indeed is the small-leafed maile

The maile lau li‘i of Ko‘iahi

There is a heat of desire that rises within

To hear the appealing note of Kūwili’s flute

I call to you, O answer me24

O Kākuhihewa, my chief.25

Appendix A

“He Mele Inoa No Kamehameha V”

from Alakai o Hawaii, December 5, 1929

  1. 1.Aia i Honolulu kuu pohaku

  2. 2.Kealohilani kuu haku ia

  3. 3.Ua holo ka wela i na mokupuni

  4. 4.Ua punahei au leo o ka manu

  5. 5.O a‘u lehua i Mokaulele

  6. 6.Hooneenee mai e ka iliahi

  7. 7.Hoohanua mai la ka uka iuka

  8. 8.Aia ka pono ia Oniula

  9. 9.Ua malu ka honua ia Kalani

  10. 10.Kuu Haku i ka ehuehu kai o Hilo

  11. 11.I ahona Puna i ke ala o ka hala

  12. 12.Paa mai la Olaa i ka ua noe

  13. 13.Noho i ka ehuehu kai o Hilo

  14. 14.Kahiko Poliahu i ka hau anu

  15. 15.He manao paa ko‘u a hiki aku

  16. 16.Ua lahui ia mai e iala

  17. 17.Hea aku no wau o mai oe

  18. 18.Kamakaiouli kou inoa

Kuluwaimaka’s corrections (“Aia i Honolulu Kuu Pohaku,” Ke Alakai o Hawaii, January 9, 1930): “Hoololi i ka lalani umi a hoihoi ae mawaena o ka lalani ehiku a me ka lalani ewalu. Ma kahi o ka huaolelo ‘hoohanua’ e hookomoia ka hua olelo ‘hoohonua,’” no laila:

  1. 7.Hoohonua mai la ka ua iuka

  2. 8.Ua malu ka honua ia Kalani.

  3. 9.Aia ka pono ia Oniula

Appendix B

“Aia i Honolulu Ku‘u Pohaku – Chant for Princes Ruth Ke‘elikolani,” huapala.org

Aia i Honolulu ku‘u pohaku

O Keahohilani ku‘u haku ia

Ua puni hei au leo o ka manu

Oa u lehua i Mokaulele

A Halaulani au wehe ka makani

Hoi a‘e ka pono ia Onuila

Ho‘one‘ene‘e mai o Kailiahi

Ho‘ohonua mai ka ua i uka

Ua malu ko aupuni e ka lani

Aohe kupueu nana e a‘e

Ha‘ina ka puana ai lohe ia

No Ke‘elikolani no he inoa


He Inoa No Ke‘elikolani


1 “I give up!” What you say when you can’t figure out a riddle.

2 See Appendix A of this paper for the complete text and Kuluwaimaka correction. See Appendix B for what appears to be a garbled version of the original.

3 Deep affection for an ali‘i; used by G.M. Kauluwehi of Kalaupapa in the context of defending Lot Kamehameha from criticism and attack. “Aia i Honolulu Kuu Pohaku,” Ke Alakai, January 2, 1930.

4 That the mele was known to turn-of-the-century Hawaiians is evident in an advertisement for “Ahamele Nui ma ka Hale Keaka Opiuma” (Ke Aloha Aina, Nov. 29) wherein “Aia i Honolulu kuu pohaku” is slated for performance as a hula pū‘ili in conjunction with a “hoikeike” concerning the reunion of Kaikilani and Lonoikamakahiki after their kōnane-board dispute. See “The Story of Lono,” in the Fornander Collection of Hawaiian Antiquities and Folk-Lore, Volume 4, 236-255. This context suggests that “Aia i Honolulu” was thought of, in that performance anyway, as a song of reconciliation between lovers.

5 The article identifies Kapanookalani as the provider of the mele’s text.

6 Ke Alakai o Hawaii: 12-5-1929, 12-12-1929, 1-2-1930, and 1-9-1930.

7 “Aia i Honolulu Kuu Pohaku,” Ke Alaka‘i, Dec. 12, 1929. Translation ours.

8 All of the nūpepa commentators refer to Lot as “Ka Mō‘ī,” but at the time of the Pauahi-Bishop marriage controversy (1849-1850), he was 20 years old and more than a decade away from the throne. The marriage controversy is discussed, at length, by George Kanahele in chapter 3 of his biography, Pauahi: The Kamehameha Legacy, KS Press, 1986.

9 G. M. Kauluwehi. Translation ours.

10 This heat of desire is quite different from the heat of angry words that spreads across the islands in Ke‘elikōlani’s mele, but the use of “wela” in both compositions seems to suggest that the latter is aware of and perhaps responding to the former. “Mine is not the heat of controversy, but the heat of love/loyalty.”

11 “1852. Through R.C. Janion a variety of new plants were received from China by the Thetis, viz: pomelos, wongpees, langans, cumquats, camellias, lichees, fingered citrons, etc.” Thrum, Hawaiian Almanac and Annual for 1906, “A Chapter of Firstlings,” 129-30. This date makes it unlikely that “Kākuhihewa” was composed for the Lot-Pauahi-Bishop marriage controversy since the Bishops had been married for at least two years before the flower first arrived here.

12 “Victorian Flower Symbolism – Miss Carruthers of Inverness 1879,” sarajanecovey.co.uk and “Camellia Flower Meaning,” livingartsoriginals.com/flower-camellia.

13 Burl Burlingame “HOT, ala Italiano,” Honolulu Star Bulletin, February 10, 2006.

14 J.H. (perhaps J.H. Kanepu‘u, one of the paper’s founding members), “Ka Hanohano O Ka Hoku Pakipika,” Ka Hoku o ka Pakipika, October 3, 1861.

15 O. Keliihune, “He Mele no ke Aloha,” Ka Hoku o ka Pakipika, March 20, 1862. “The mind yearns to see the beauty of the camellia blossom / Suffused with Russian perfume” – translation ours.

16 Apahu, “He Inoa no Emalaina,” Kuokoa, March 8, 1862. “Its prow is all I see / It is damp whenever kissed / The camellia blossom clings to it / It is what I am thinking about” – translation and emphasis ours.

17 The nose flute of Kauakahiali‘i whose sweet music called Ka‘ililauokekoa into his arms at Pihanakalani, Kaua‘i.

18 “Haleiwa Hotele, Ka Ui Mahiehie ma Waialua, Dilinahama ka Lokomaikai, Iaukea ka Puuwai Hamama,” Kuokoa, August 11, 1899.

19 “At about the same time when the Lord Marshal Kou was staking out his fishing camp along the harbor, another chief, it is said, occupied another fief under Kakuhihewa farther up the valley. This chief's name was Honolulu. For many years, far into the time of the white men's occupation of the island, a stone that stood near the intersection of Liliha and School streets was called Pohaku o Honolulu, the Honolulu stone” (C. Gessler, Tropic Landfall: The Port of Honolulu, Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1942, 8).  “Honolulu was probably a name given to a very rich farmland at what is now…the junction of Liliha and School Streets because its chief was Honolulu, one of the high chiefs of the time of Kakuhihewa” (William Westervelt, Legends of Old Honolulu, Geo. H. Ellis, 1915, 1). Both Gessler and Westervelt are cited in Kumu Pono Associates, He Mo‘olelo ‘Aina – Traditions and Storied Places in the District of Kona, Honolulu Region (Lands of Kalihi, Island O‘ahu, A Traditional Cultural Properties Study Technical Report DRAFT, March 26, 2013; Gessler, 7-8; Westervelt, 14.

20 Another way of translating this line might be: “It (the pōhaku) belongs to Kākuhihewa who is my lord.”

21 Another way of translating this line might be: “You are likely to be discovered / Among the petals of Camelia Blossom.”

22 Another way of translating this line might be: “Planted/hereditary are the descendants of Kūkaniloko.”

23 Lines 3 and 4 of this verse vary somewhat from those printed in the 1981 Merrie Monarch program: “Ka maile lau li’i a‘o Ka‘ala / He ‘ala ka maile lau li‘ili‘i” (“And small leaved maile of Ka‘ala / Fragrant indeed are the small leaved maile”).

24 A more literal translation of this line might be: “We call to you, please respond.”

25 Again: “This (name chant) is for Kākuhihewa, my lord.”

© Kīhei de Silva 2014.  All rights reserved.
This essay was first published in Hālau Mōhala ‘Ilima's 2014 Merrie Monarch Fact Sheet. 

It is offered here in slightly revised form.