Skip to main content

Lei ‘Ilima

Kaʻiwakīloumoku Mele Hoʻoheno Series
Kauwela 2021

Kumu hula and award-winning musician Manu Boyd shares some of his favorite mele Hawaiʻi in our new series, Mele Hoʻoheno – Cherished Songs. We invite you to join him (and some very special guests) as he explores the meaning and significance of each song while offering personal memories, reflections, and anecdotes that help bring the story to life. E nanea mai!

Lei ʻIlima
na Charles Edward King


ʻO ka ʻilima nō kuʻu lei
Ka liʻa ia a nei puʻuwai
He wehi ia no kuʻu kino
Lei hoʻohihi a ka manaʻo

ʻIʻini au lā i kou nani
He hiwahiwa i kaʻu ʻike
ʻO wau kou hoa e kohu ai
E lei ʻilima ē, lei ʻilima



The ʻilima lei is mine alone
The desire of this heart
An adornment for my body
A lei that captures my thoughts

I desire your beauty
You are so special to me
I will be your companion, a most suitable match
O lovely lei of ʻilima blossoms, lei ʻilima




photo credit: Kapalaiʻula de Silva

Ka pua o ka ʻilima.


photo courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons

The Kamehameha School for Boys, Class of 1891. Charles E. King is standing in row 2, second from the far right.


photo courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons

Prolific composer and arranger, Charles E. King.

Related articles