Composed by a descendant of Mo‘oiki Keawe‘ai, the founding priest of Hale o Keawe at Hōnaunau, this mele celebrates the ongoing presence there of the kaiāulu, a breeze whose gentle touch joins the generations in love and memory.
‘A‘ohe i ‘emo, hiki mai ke aloha
Ia‘u e noho ana me Tūtū
He hale kūkūohi ko Kīlaulani
He hale pā kaiāulu ko Keawe
Aweawe ka ‘ōnohi o nā Kona
Ke hea aku nā pulapula, nā‘ū
Nāu nō ia i ‘ōlali ho‘okahi
Na Kekuewa na‘e e hi‘ikua
Ha‘ina ka puana i lohe ‘ia
No Mo‘oiki Keawe‘ai he inoa.
Love arrives in no time at all
While I am sitting with Tūtū
A steep-roofed house has Kīlaulani
A house touched by the breeze has Keawe
Threadlike, streaming are the rays of Kona’s sun
Whenever her children call out, "nā‘ū"
You are the one who traveled alone across the ocean
But we of Kekuewa carry you on our backs
Tell the theme that it may be heard
A name-song for Mo‘oiki Keawe‘ai.
© Kaleihalaakama‘ilohi Nāhālau, 2005
photo credit: Ron Paul 86, Wikimedia Commons
Hale o Keawe, Hōnaunau, Hawai‘i. Originally named Kaikiʻalealea in deference to ‘Ālealea, the heiau it supplanted, Hale o Keawe was built to house the bones of Keaweīkekahiali‘iokamoku. “A sacrifice was needed to give the house itself mana (spiritual power). Keawe-‘ai, the priest of ‘Ālealea heiau and a beloved older relative of Keawe stepped forth. Willingly he gave his life that the house of his lord might be dedicated to the gods. His sacrifice was remembered throughout the years, for his son and grandsons after him were the privileged caretakers of Hale o Keawe for as long as it stood.” (Dorothy Barrere, Tracing the Past at Hōnaunau, 19.)