Kumulipo, published by Joseph Liwai Kukahi, 1902.



We received a Hawaiian moolelo book being published by our good friend, Joseph L. Kukahi. The name of this book is “Ke Kumulipo,” and it is an authentic Hawaiian moolelo book showing the different ideas about the birth of this archipelago. Within this book are a number of beautiful mele showing the thoughts of the ancient composers of mele of ours pertaining to the birth of the first man, the first woman, and the land upon which we live. Continue reading

New book by Joseph Mokuohai Poepoe, 1891.

[Found under: “NU HOU KULOKO.”]

The new book by J. M. Poepoe called Ki Gula, is 40 pages long; all that is left is for them to swiftly disappear [pahee aku koe i ka welowelo].

[The only book in Forbe’s National Bibliography that resembles this book from 1891 is “Ka Buke Akeakamai a o ke Ki Gula.” However there is nothing about Poepoe, and the total number of pages given is much more than 40...]

(Leo o ka Lahui, 4/9/1891, p. 2)

He 40 ka nui...

Ka Leo o ka Lahui, Buke II, Helu 168, Aoao 2. Aperila 9, 1891.

More on “Aia i Honolulu kuu pohaku”! 1929.


O Friends who chase after Ke Alakai o Hawaii, the mele, “Aia i Honolulu kuu pohaku,” is a mele of familiarity [mele hoolauna] composed by Luka Keelikolani when she was coming to here in Honolulu from Hilo to meet with King Kamehameha V.

From what is understood, it is believed that she composed this mele while she was in Hilo before her travelling to Oahu nei.

In this mele are hidden things dealing with the nation in the time of the alii Loka Kapuaiwa Kamakaiouli (Kamehameha V); the contention between the haole and the King, the deceit of the enemies of the King and their attempt to thwart the plans by the King and his court to make Pauahi his wife.

The Hale Hoonaauao Hawaii asks the native ones of the land, the old ones familiar with the history of King Kamehameha V, and the experts still living, to read with much pleasure the explanations of this mele as per what was obtained by the Hale Hoonaauao Hawaii from those native born of the land through the assistance of Theodore Kelsey.

The Hale Hoonaauao Hawaii will award a one-year subscription of the newspaper Ke Alakai o Hawaii to the one who sends the best letter with explanations on this mele. Send the letters to the office of Ke Alakai o Hawaii withing two weeks of the completion of the publishing of all that has been compiled.

Here is the mele and the explanations of the experts [loea] whose names are: Paulo Kealaikahiki Kapanookalani from whom we received this mele, Kahapula (Prof. Fred Beckley) who teaches at the University of Hawaii, Kawika Malo Kupihea who studied with the loea J. M. Poepoe for fifteen years. James Anania Iokepa who was born in Honomu, Hawaii, Rev. H. B. Nalimu who was born in Papaaloa, Hawaii in 1835, and J. P. Kuluwaimaka the skilled chanter [olohe oli] in the court of King Kalakaua.

[“Aia i Honolulu kuu pohaku” is perhaps the most widely studied mele i have seen, with line-by-line interpretations by experts of the day. It continues on for a number of issues of Alakai o Hawaii.

Does anyone have any details on the organization called Hale Hoonaauao Hawaii, or Hale Hoonaauao o Hawaii?]

(Alakai o Hawaii, 12/5/1929, p. 2)


Ke Alakai o Hawaii, Buke 1, Helu 32, Aoao 2. Dekemapa 5, 1929.

Speaking of pictures, here are the only two known pictures of Joseph Mokuohai Poepoe, 1913/2012.

Here is a group picture of the seventh legislature of the Territory in 1913. Poepoe is in the back row, forth from the left.

The caption reads:

The Seventh Legislature of the Territory of Hawaii Nei Opens

Top from the left to right—E. J. McCandless, D. Kupihea, J. K. Paele, J. M. Poepoe, J. S. Kalakiela, Dr. A. Irwin, H. L. Kawewehi, E. K. Kaaua, John Wilcox, P. J. Goodness, C. K. Makekau, E. da Silva, C. H. Cooke, N. Watkins, S. S. Paxson, D. K. Kaupiko, W. R. Kinslea, A. Robertson, J. W. Asch, R. P. Spalding, J. K. Lota, G. P. Cooke, H. M. Kaniho, W. J. Sheldon, Vice-Speaker J. H. Coney, Speaker H. L. Holstein, E. Waiaholo, Dr. G. D. Huddy. Not pictured—A. F. Tavares and N. K. Lyman.

(Kuokoa, 2/21/1913, p. 1)

Weheia Ke Kau Ehiku o Ka Ahaolelo Kuloko o Ke Teritore o Hawaii Nei

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke L, Helu 8, Aoao 1. Feberuari 21, 1913.

And this one is published upon his passing.

(Kuokoa, 4/18/1913, p. 1)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LI, Helu 15, Aoao 1. Aperila 18, 1913.

[Anyone know of any other pictures of Joseph M. Poepoe?]

More on pictures from the Hawaiian-Language Newspapers and why they need to be reshot. 2012.

[After looking at that Kapiolani Park horse racing picture, you might be thinking, “Seen one horse race, seen them all…” But what about this!

This here is perhaps the only image* known of Joseph Mokuohai Poepoe (patriot/historian/statesman/newspaper editor/lawyer/translator/storyteller…). It comes from his obituary printed in the newspaper Kuokoa.

This is the image you will see from the newspaper online:


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LI, Helu 15, Aoao 1. Aperila 18, 1913.

Here is a photograph taken by that same amateur from the original newspaper. It isn’t the best of pictures, but at least you get an idea…]


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LI, Helu 15, Aoao 1. Aperila 18, 1913.

*There is one other image I found, but Poepoe is standing far in the back, and is hardly visible. It was taken at the opening of the Legislature (just a few months before he dies). Poepoe stands in the top row, 4th from the left. (This is the image you will find online.)

Weheia Ke Kau Ehiku o Ka Ahaolelo Kuloko o Ke Teritore o Hawaii Nei

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke L, Helu 8, Aoao 1. Feberuari 21, 1913.