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This mele was composed by the people of Kaua‘i for one of Queen Emma Kaleleonālani's visits to their island. The chant tells of the things she saw and experienced there: trees, birds, fragrances, and flowers. But Hawaiian chants usually have kaona (hidden meaning) that requires us to think more deeply about these seemingly simple descriptions . The kaona of "Nani Wale" probably has something to do with the relationship between Emma, Kaua‘i, and its people. The chant describes, in a "hidden" way, the beauty of the queen who loves this beautiful island and who is greeted and loved by its many “birds.”

Nani Wale Nā Hala

Nani wale nā hala, ‘eā ‘eā

O Naue i ke kai, ‘eā, ‘eā

Ke ‘oni a‘ela, ‘eā ‘eā

Pili mai Hā‘ena, ‘eā ‘eā

‘Ena aku nā maka,‘eā ‘eā

O nā manu i ka pua, ‘eā ‘eā

Nani wale ka nahele, ‘eā ‘eā

I pūia i ke ‘ala, ‘eā ‘eā

A ‘ike i ka lehua, ‘eā ‘eā

Miki‘oi i laila, ‘eā ‘eā

Ha‘ina ka puana , ‘eā ‘eā

‘O Kaleleonālani, ‘eā ‘eā.

So beautiful are the hala trees

Of Naue at the shore

Moving there

Close to Hā‘ena

Shy and glowing are the eyes

Of the birds on the flower

The forest is so beautiful

Drenched in fragrance

See the lehua

So neatly formed and dainty there

Tell the summary of the song

It is Kaleleonālani who we honor.

Listen to Aunty Genoa Keawe sing her famous ‘auana version of "Nani Wale nā Hala."