Sunday, April 2, 2017

My Beloved Leis

Plumeria with Purple flower (Ribbon Lei) designed by Tracy Harada 
The following is a section, taken from Na Mele O Hawai'i Nei, 101 Hawaiian Songs, collected by Samuel H. Elbert and Noelani Mahoe, published by the University of Hawaii, Copyright 1970.

This is a name song composed by Mary Kawena Pukui for her grandson, La'akea, shortly after his birth on November 8, 1949. The "many birds" are admiring people.

'Ohu'phu wale au iku'i leo

[I wear my fragrant lei]
Ku'u lei oh;ohie o na kau a kau.

[My lei cherished in all seasons]
Au mai na maka o ka nui manu

[The eyes of many birds behold]

I ku'uy wehi nani e lei mai

[worn forever as a lei]

Please forgive any errors, as this is 1) a transcription to Blogger, which does not have a supporting font for Hawaiian and 2) I am not fluent in Hawaiian. I copied the symbols such as the 'okina and the macron (__ above the letter) as best as I could. I also added the bold and the brackets. The layout is slightly different than what you find in the original publication.

Why did I do this post? I needed to test some posting services, and I thought, do something interesting. SO... yeah, I naturally ended up doing something more challenging than probably what it is worth. At least I got a chance to read some beautiful Hawaiian songs, and it reminded me that one day, one day I should as least try to learn more.

If you come from a heritage which has a language other than English, I think you should try to reconnect or explore it. I encourage you. 

I regret not having encouraged my children earlier than now. They are both in high school, and they are, to me, a little disconnected with their grandmother's, and my, culture. My daughter is at least thinking about taking up hula. She would be beautiful at it. I can see her, in my mind's eye.

For now, they are both, still, my special leis, which I wear in my heart.

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