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Hula & Mele

Noho Pono i ka Ihu – Tips from a Hawaiian Language Judge
What follows below constitutes a top-ten list of tips for ‘ōlelo improvement. These won’t guarantee a victory in the competition, but they should help to raise the integrity and quality of all that is voiced by our po‘e hula.

Pa‘ahana – Soft Breezes
Those of us who treasure the unamplified Hawaiian music of our nahenahe past will find much to be thankful for in Pa‘ahana’s Soft Breezes.

Holunape – He ‘Olu
Holunape. It means "swaying, resilient," as in ka holunape o ka lau o ka niu, the gentle swaying of palm fronds. It fits both their music and group identity.

Haku Mele Nominees, Nā Hōkū Hanohano 2004
First given in 1980 to Dennis Kamakahi for “He Hihiwai” by way of a voting process open to all members of the Hawaiian Academy of Recording Artists, the Hōkū Haku Mele award has since evolved into a committee award. The winner and four finalists are selected by a panel of Hawaiian language savants: teachers, scholars, musicians, and—frequently—past Haku Mele winners.

He Mele Aloha, A Hawaiian Songbook
He Mele Aloha is a substantial, well-conceived songbook whose mission is nothing less than the return of kanikapila to its grassroots origins.

Eddie’s Book of Epiphanies: Hawaiian Son, The Life and Music of Eddie Kamae
Eddie Kamae, however, belongs to a generation for whom talk-story is an art form characterized by the same dignity, delight, and intellectual rigor as that of haku mele, of song writing.

Oh, You Sweet Thing
"Ho‘ohaehae" belongs to that rare category of song that has the power to evoke my most cherished childhood memories—in my mind, the faint buzz of an AM radio station will forever be associated with what real Hawaiian music sounds like.

Lena Machado, Songbird of Hawai‘i
Lena Machado is, without question, Hawai‘i’s finest female singer-composer of the last century, maybe of all time.

Wedding Music Police
If we believe that our ‘ōlelo still retains the power of ola and make, then we must also believe that our choice of wedding songs will have an impact on the strength of the bonds that hold a couple together.

Nā Mele ‘Ohana, by Kaha‘i Topolinski
The faithful keeping of family mele or chants, with the accompanying dances, is one significant ancient custom still practiced by a few Hawaiian families.

Mī Nei Considerations
The original is handwritten and unsigned, but the neat script, careful diction, and early mention of "my husband . . . Pukui" identifies it incontrovertibly as belonging to the sharp pencil and subtle wit of Mary Kawena Pukui.

Mele Killers
But even more important in my claim to the depth and power of that ‘ōlelo—language, speech, discussion, writing, storytelling, orating, history-making—is the unbreakable connection between language and identity that words, stories, songs, and histories continually forge and reform.

Keepers of the Flame
Eddie Kamae’s work can be characterized as a subtle but unrelenting counter-revolution of "we need to remember."

Nā Mele ‘Ohana, Featuring Vickie Ii and her Family
Aunty Vickie’s gift of mele has served as source and inspiration for many of the "classic" recordings of the last half-century.

Linda Dela Cruz, Hawai‘i’s Canary
Linda does the same, I suspect, for many of us in-betweener Hawaiians: she brings us home from wherever and whatever.

Hula Pahu Revisited
Tatar’s research esoterically invites the native Hawaiian scholar to challenge other viewpoints from the Hawaiian perspective.

The Hula Dancer as Actor: Characterization, Visualization, and Emotion
A contemporary performance of hula combines dance and chant or song to tell stories, recount histories and provide entertainment for its audience.

Canonizing the Ko‘ihonua
If anything is to survive as more than a novelty, it must not be learned about, but learned, and practiced, in and for itself.