Keli'i Tauʻā & David Kauahikaua
Released: September 2009
Released: September 2009
Hawaiʻi’s sailing canoe Hōkūleʻa has been a valuable floating resource center to learn and reconnect to the ancient art of wayfinding and celestial navigation coupled with a multitude of cultural practices that lay dormant for centuries. The oral culture of which Hawaiians passed their history through oli (chants) and moʻolelo (stories) was one form of practice that was fading rapidly. We the creators of this project are pleased to be able to contribute and continue to haku mele (compose) the mea huna noʻeau (culture) in our mother tongue.
Listen to the songs and learn of the voyage of Hōkūleʻa
Hōkūleʻa has always been a star in the heavens and man brought it to the ocean and through this hānau (birth) came the connection of ʻohana(family) of sailing canoes with baby waʻa Moʻolele in Lahaina, Hawaiʻiloa at the Bishop Museum and Makaliʻi on the island of Hawaiʻi. Together, they formed a nucleus to inspire other canoes to be built on each of the islands of Hawaiʻi using some of the stars mentioned in the chorus to navigate and continue to be a lama (light, symbol) for all Hawaiʻi. Hail to the stars Hōkūleʻa (Star of Gladness) Hōkūloa (Morning or Long Star), and Hōkūpaʻa (North Star). We dedicate this musical CD to the stars.
Several years ago, an avid big wave surfer and canoe man from Hawaiʻi named Tiger Esperitus was attracted by the culture and lifestyle of Japan so he moved to the "Land of the Rising Sun". He decided to reside at a very spiritual community called Kamakura where he quickly made friends with surfers and canoe people and organized the community to build a sailing canoe ala Hōkūleʻa. He prematurely passed but left his mana of Kika(Tiger) with his Kamakura ʻohana. His one armed brother named Lui joined Hōkūleʻaʻs recent visit to Kamakura. Upon landing, Lui raised his one arm to the sky shouting, "A pae, a pae Kamakura" as the rest of Tigerʻs hanai (adopted) family of surfers, canoe men, and dancers responded in unison, "A pae, a pae, a pae Kamakura." (Landed, the canoe has landed at Kamakura)
The song was written from the eyes of two sisters Maile (3 yrs) and Leilani (2yrs) who went to the pier at Yokohama to witness a once in a lifetime historical event for them of a Hawaiian sailing vessel landing on their Japan shores. Hula, chants, and songs accompanied the Royal Order of Kamehameha, Hawaiian conches and loud horns from large ships & the port protocol greeted the ʻStar of Gladnessʻ. Tears of joy flowed freely from the overwhelming crowd that came to greet the waʻa kaulua (double-hull canoe) and its heroes of the sea supporting the established theme, "One Ocean, One People." It was a proud moment to chant them into the harbor just like the day Master Kaʻupena Wong, Doctor Kalena Silva and myself Doctor Keliʻi Tauʻā launched the canoe in the 1970ʻs at Kualoa Park, Oʻahu.
Kimo Hugo, one of the original crew members, builder, historian, Kamehameha classmate, first resource person who told me lots of stories, and all-around good Bradda, told me about this shark god that he saw during the early training on the canoe up at Hawaiʻi Island. The King of the sea looked as long as the canoe. The name of this Aumakua Kamohoaliʻi ties back to Peleʻs elder brother with the same name who traveled with her when she came to Hawaiʻi. The accompanying chant is dedicated to the Luaʻehu ʻohana.
Kana Uchino was the native Japanese female sailor on the Hōkūleʻa who sailed on the voyage to Yokohama, Japan from Hawaiʻi. She has been working at the Bishop Museum in the Oceanography department and had been training with the Polynesian Voyaging Society for several years before this voyage. Mahalo Kana chan.
Voyaging canoes make a practice of taking pōhaku (stones) as gifts to the places they visit. We sing about a famous Hauola stone located in Lahaina town Maui is one famous stone that we pay homage.
One of the most important ancient tools of the Hawaiians was the Koʻi. The koʻi cut, carved and shaped Hawaiʻiʻs stone-age civilization progressing up to the incoming of newcomers to the Hawaiian Islands. Recent information by archeologists have confirmed some of the oldest Hawaiian legends regarding long distance voyages throughout the Pacific.
Hail to Mau Pialug the great navigator, teacher, sailor and the most valuable friend of sailing canoes. With his guidance, he unknowingly brought about an entire sailing and cultural revival for the Hawaiian Nation and many other countries that followed. This humble musical piece is in honor of the great navigator, Hulo ka Haku.
In the recent sailing trip to the Satuwal Islands of Micronesia where Master Navigator Mau Pialug resides, a sacred ceremony was conducted by the Master in providing sacred coral wristlets that had been adorned in the past to honor navigators who had learned the art of wayfinding, a term used for navigators who have mastered the art of navigating utilizing Godʻs natural creations such as the stars, moon, waves etc. Kau ke kupeʻe, start wearing the kupeʻe.
Takuji and Kana Uchino were among the first sailors from Japan to ride on the Hōkūleʻa on its trip from Hawaiʻi to Micronesia and back to their homeland of Japan. Takuji expressed his deep personal feelings of his experience upon the canoe in the lines, "On the canoe I feel the Samurai in me but I change my weapon from sword to paddle" As Samurai, the challenge was to conquer the ocean, not another warrior.
Manu o Ku (White Tern) is another navigational blessing that Pacific Island sailors looked for when traveling on the high seas. The birds were helpful in the recent trip of Hōkūleʻa and Maisu finding Johnston Atoll while sailing to the island of Palau, home of Master Navigator Mau Pialug.
In the spirit of writing songs for place names like Nā Wai Eha, Hilo Hanakahi and the like, Wahi Kaulana of Japan popped up where the canoe or its crew members had time to visit, see the sites, and eat some onolicious food. Thus comes this mele.
Almost 40 years ago, one of the few awa ceremonies was facilitated at Kualoa Park as part of the launching ceremonies for Hōkūleʻa and the family of nā waʻa kaulua (double-hull canoe). On June 10, 2007, the sacred ceremony was again presented to the sailors and the supporting ʻohana at Yokohama who have continued to be an integral part of the voyaging that supported the theme "One Ocean, One People."
Hōkūleʻa is a symbol of aloha. Christmas and Kanakaloka (Santa Claus) brings those elements with paddling reindeer sharing gifts of joy and hope to everyone. Letʻs hoe (paddle) with our friendly Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Dixon, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Dixon, & Rudolph to deliver those presents of aloha from Hawai’i to the world.
Two Islands miles apart have been used for bombing practice in the past by their respective countries. Today, it is a representation of spiritual peace and harmony. Makanani Atwood, an avid member of Hawaiʻiʻs Protect Kahoʻolawe group, shared his feelings when they sailed in the neighborhood of Miejima on the canoe Hōkūleʻa likening the experience to his work on his favorite spiritual island called "Kohe Malamalama o Kanaloa, ancient name for Kahoʻolawe
HULO (hurray) to the theme One ocean, One people and the accomplishments of Hawaiʻis first double-hull sailing canoe Hōkūleʻa.