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Maika‘i ‘o Hā‘upu

Kipi Brown

I finished this mele on a rainy morning at Niumalu Park, Kauaʻi, in the shadow of what the tour industry has identified for years as Queen Victoria shaking a finger at her errant son and admonishing him with a stern, “Now, Willie-Willie.” The mele was composed in response to these and other abuses visited by the poʻe ʻē upon Hāʻupu Ridge and the cliff-face of Hinaiuka, to wit: the construction on Hāʻupu of the Stangl Broadcasting Co.’s 250 foot, red and white radio tower, "complete with a constantly blinking red light" (Ka Wai Ola o OHA, Mei 1998). The tower was completed in March 1998 in spite of community opposition and the Federal Communication Commission's apparent failure to examine the process by which a state agency approved of Stangl’s project "without adequate community notice" and without apparent regard to the FCC’s own "non-negotiable duty" to protect traditional Native Hawaiian sites from intrusive development. Verse four of the mele addresses the opportunistic mentality of these developers: they are mound-perching kōlea who have adorned Hāʻupu with a "hat pin." Verse five addresses the flawed political process by which the tower was approved: the "arranging of kauila trees at Puʻukapele" is Samuel Kamakau’s metaphor for a government that loses track of its own power and accountability. Verse six confirms the traditional relationship between Hāʻupu and its people. And verse seven speaks of aloha ʻāina, the "thing" that will not go away, that persists unabated: our love for the land.

Maikaʻi ʻo Hāʻupu mauna kilohana
Kohu ʻole me ke alo aʻo Vikolia.
Alia mai ʻoe, aia ka puaʻa
ʻO ka ʻohu nō ia e wānana ua.
ʻO ka ua Alaʻoli kaʻu i aloha
Neʻe ’kula i ka poli aʻo Niumalu.
ʻŌmamalu ko kino i ka pine poʻo
ʻO ka wehi nō ia na ke kau ʻāhua
Ahuwale ke kauila aʻo Puʻukapele
Ua hoʻonoho ʻia e Kahilikolo
Hilinaʻi ʻo Kīpū kalelei iā Hina
Kīpuʻu ʻia i ka puaaneane
ʻAneʻane nō wau e uē iho
I ka mea unonoke he aloha ʻāina
Haʻina ʻia mai ana ka puana
No luna ke ʻala aʻo Hinaiuka.

Hāʻupu is beautiful, the best of mountains
And bears no resemblance to Victoria’s Profile.
Wait a bit, there is the "pig"
It is the cloud that predicts rain.
The Alaʻoli rain is what I love
As it moves across the heart of Niumalu.
Your body is overshadowed by the hat pin
It is the adornment of the mound-percher.
The kauila trees of Puʻukapele are exposed
They have been arranged by Kahilikolo.
Kīpū relies on, gazes respectfully at Hina
They are bound together until life’s end.
I am close to tears
Over this persistent thing, aloha ʻāina.
The summary is told
The fragrance of Hinaiuka belongs to the uplands.

 

© Kipi Brown, 1998

Alekoko fishpond5 - kavebear, wikimedia commons

photo credit: KAVEBEAR, Wikimedia Commons

“Maikaʻi ‘o Hāʻupu, mauna kilohana.” Mount Hāʻupu as seen from the roadside above ‘Alekoko Fishpond.




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