Aia i Nū Kaletoni Kou Pāpale Lauhala
Kapalai‘ula de Silva
Several members of the Hawai‘i delegation to the 8th Festival of Pacific Arts 2000 committed themselves to recording their New Caledonian experiences in the traditional Hawaiian way—in mele. Eight of these mele are presented here in the current issue of E Kū i ka Hoe Uli; their publication is inspired by our website’s recent coverage of the 9th Festival of Pacific Arts that was held in Palau in July of this year. Images of the Palau trip stirred memories of similar New Caledonian moments and resulted in this round-up of poetry that has been neglected for far too long. It is probably safe to assume that an upcoming issue of Hoe Uli will feature mele composed for the more recent festival—as soon, perhaps, as those powerful experiences can be recollected in tranquility.
Kapalai‘ula de Silva offers the following explanation of her "Aia i Nū Kaletoni Kou Pāpale Lauhala": "This mele honors one of our delegation’s elders, Eddie Ka‘anana, and the lauhala hat that was given to him by a resident of Poindimie. The hat, flag, and net of the song symbolize the warm hospitality of the people of Province Nord (the northern province in which the village of Poindimie is located), the respect with which they treated our "grandfathers" and homeland, and the sense of unity that we came to share with our new-found cousins. The hat, flag, and net of the song symbolize, as well, the shelter, ancestor-awareness, and unity enjoyed by the delegation as a result of ‘Anakala Eddie’s careful guidance and example.
Aia i Nū Kaletoni kou pāpale lauhala
Ulana ‘ia maila e ke Kanakī
Pumehana wale ho‘i ia ‘āina
I ka lawe ha‘aheo a Poindimie
Welo ha‘aheo kou hae kalaunu
Ho‘opulu ‘ia e ka ua lanipili
Hia‘ai ka mana‘o e ‘ike aku
Ua hana ‘ia ka pono, a pololei
Ualei pono ‘ia iho ka ‘upena
I pa‘a me ka leo a nā kūpuna
Ha‘ina kou wehi e ku‘u lei
No ‘Anakala Eddie lā he inoa.
There in New Caledonia is your lauhala hat
Woven by the people of the land
We are filled with warmth in this land
As we journey onward to Poindimie
Proudly the royal flag flies, acknowledged
Moistened by the heavy rains of the heavens
The mind is delighted to know
That good has been done, and all is well
Spread out over the land is the net
Secured and strengthened by the voices of our ancestors.
The story is told of the cherished one
For ‘Anakala Eddie, indeed, is this name song.
© Kapalai‘ula de Silva, 2001