Newspapers, translation, and a mele for the Merrie Monarch, 1913 / Timeless.

You can find various translations for the beautiful song, “Kaipoleimanu” in the archives of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, online, and on liner notes. None however seems to acknowledge that Kaipoleimanu itself was a wahi pana, along with its neighboring hau of Maihi, ulu of Weli [also seen as Wehi], and hala of Mapuana.

There is a priceless church meeting report/travelogue appearing in the Kuokoa from 12/5/1913 to 2/6/1914: Ka Ike Hou ana o ke Kamahele i ka Mokupuni o Kauai [The Traveler Sees Once More the Island of Kauai], signed, Kamahele. Amongst all the fascinating information found in this report is a description of the places hearkened to in the mele Kaipoleimanu, to which the traveller is taken by his guide, the Deputy Sheriff of Hanalei, William Werner. He says:

We left behind Kahulaana, and there was an old path which climbed atop Puuhinahina and went down the other side, and there we came upon Kaipoleimanu which neighbored the hau of Maihi, the breadfruit of Weli, and the pandanus of Mapuana; these places were right next to the path.

(Kuokoa, 12/19/1913, p. 3)

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LI, Helu 50, Aoao 3. Dekemaba 19, 1913.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LI, Helu 50, Aoao 3. Dekemaba 19, 1913.

The traveller gazed upon these incredible sights: this is really Kaipoleimanu here, that is the hau of Maihi, and that’s the ulu of Weli, and that is the hala of Mapuana, the famed pandanus, but there is no pandanus left standing, its bones are dried in the sun, however it was as if there was indeed hala growing, as its scent was carried by the winds from the seaside, and I remembered this mele that was composed.

He manao he aloha,
No ka ipo Lei Manu
Ua manu kuu hoa
Noho mai kanahele
Iiwi o uka
Polena i ka ua
Elua maua
I ka po ua nui
Ua a o Hanalei
Anu au maeele
Ua anu hoi au
I ka ua noe anu
Na Hau o Maihi
Au ana i ke kai
Na ulu o Weli
Punohu mai ana
Ke ala o ka hala
Hala o Mapuana
Onaona i ka ihu
Ke ala pua rose
Hone ana ka manao
E naue kuu kino
Ko hiki ana mai
Hauoli kuu manao e o a
E Kalani i kou inoa.

As I looked at these places which appear as kaona in the lines of the above mele, inside me I recalled with great appreciation, the one to whom the body and spirit belongs, as well as my kamaaina (the Deputy Sheriff of Hanalei), who took this traveller around showing these famed places of this island; I won’t be able to forget this kindness; the road then went ahead to the rivers of Lumehai [Lumahai is found spelled that way a number of times] and Wainiha on one side, and there were the blossoms of the lehua of Luluupali although not bloomed; if they were, the traveller would have been bedecked in lei of famous lehua of the place where it is said,

“Limahuli breathes in deeply of the lehua of Luluupali.”

[Thanks to this article (and others as well) we see that Kaipoleimanu is a wahi pana on Kauai in the vicinity of all the other wahi pana hearkened to in the mele by Queen Kapiolani.]

(Kuokoa, 12/26/1913, p. 2)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LI, Helu 51, Aoao 2. Dekemaba 26, 1913.


1 thought on “Newspapers, translation, and a mele for the Merrie Monarch, 1913 / Timeless.

  1. Mahalo… Sheriff William Werner is my Great-grandfather… He is also the father of my grandmother Rose Kuamoo who is noted a couple of times in this, the Nupepa blog.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s