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
   
   onaona

[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
      nei


[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.