This is an independent blog. Please note that I am nowhere near fluent, and that these are not translations, but merely works in progress. Please do comment if you come across misreads or anything else you think is important.
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: Continue reading →
This Tuesday, Captain Kalei of the Schooner Rob Roy, which is a schooner travelling between Honolulu nei and Molokai, was arrested for having an Okolehao jug containing liquor; there were a great many officers sent to the seaside to arrest the Captain of the schooner.
There was much found in a dark room: four gin jugs, two Whiskey jugs, but the majority found were bottles that were empty with no whiff of Okolehao.
One of the sailors of this ship, distanced himself with a dismal look on his face, and another scratched his head while looking pale.
When it was clear to an officer that he saw alcohol was brought into Honolulu town to be sold, and because of orders received by the officers, should there be a person or persons that were confirmed to have alcohol, they were to be taken to Jail [Halewai], that indeed is what happened as per what was ordered; and the officers and some others went along to the Jailhouse while bringing in a Demijohn [“basketry filled with a bottle”] containing some Okolehao; there was the stench of Ipoleimanu, and this made us recall these lines of mele.
¹Kaipoleimanu was during this time a slang for okolehao.
[I took a step back from “Hawaii’s Story,” but not too far. This mele by Queen Kapiolani for her King Kalakaua, Kaipoleimanu, is still widely sung today. But who today still knows that along with Hanalei, Maihi, Weli, and Mapuana, that Kaipoleimanu is a place on Kauai. In a Hawaii where we are so used to places called Diamond Head, Pearl City, Bowls, Sunset, Yokohama, and the like, is there value in re-membering more traditional names?
On that note, before i take some time away from these posts, i thought i would try a little survey. If you have the time, please think about the question rationally, then choose an answer or add one of your own. And as always, do feel free to leave comments in the box all the way at the bottom.]