New Hawaiian compilation album chronicles aloha ‘aina legal battles through song
HONOLULU – Telling today’s stories of land and natural resource disputes and victories through crafted songwriting, “Huliamahi Volume 1” honors ‘aina in Hawaii with legal and political undertones.
“How many books have you memorized?” asks Producer Zachary Lum. “Now think of all the songs you know by heart. Mele (Hawaiian songs) ensure that data is passed from generation to generation. We continue this practice.”
“Mele Huliamahi,” the free virtual concert produced by Kanaeokana and Kahuli Leo Le’a, coincides with the release of the album “Huliamahi Volume 1” and will air on Friday, Aug. 28, at 5:30 p.m. on Facebook Live.
The event will feature Cody Pueo Pata, Zachary and Nicholas Lum, Frank Ka’iuokalani Damas, Zachary Lorenzo, Po’okela Wood, Kaulike Pescaia, Kamalei Kawa’a, Jeff Au Hoy and ‘Ahumanu.
“Ultimately, the goal is aloha ‘aina; that is, to actively maintain (and sometimes, restore) the balance between environment and people – between ‘aina and Kanaka,” explains the liner notes written by Zachary Lum and U’ilani Tanigawa Lum.
“These stories of aloha ‘aina are forever captured in these mele. As a cultural practice, however, mele are the tools that continue to support worthy causes, reinvigorate ‘aina and strengthen community pilina. As we hear, enjoy and eventually sing these mele, they become acts of aloha ‘aina – reminders of our role and potential, as Kanaka, in this ‘aina ecosystem.”
“Huliamahi is to act in unison and in great numbers. Whether to prepare fields of lo’i kalo or to protect sacred places, there is great significance and power in the value of huliamahi. As we huliamahi, we gather, we organize, and we cooperate toward a unified goal. The laws of Hawaii are unique. One may find it surprising that so many of Hawaii’s laws are grounded in Kanaka Maoli customs, practices, and worldviews. In the stories presented herein, these laws are tools of aloha ‘aina – legal advocacy for the rights of ‘aina and the Kanaka that continue to live by its values,” shared Zachary and U’ilani.
The project recognizes the daily increase in COVID-19 cases in Hawaii and continues to utilize technology to launch this celebrated release.
Viewers will be able to enjoy the mele and learn the stories behind them from the comfort and safety of their home.
Kumu hula and performing artists will co-host the concert.
“Huliamahi Volume 1”, is available for purchase at mele.com.
Proceeds from the sale of “Huliamahi Volume 1” will benefit the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation.
Several songs from the newly released “Lei Nahonoapi’ilani: Na Mele Hou,” the second companion album to the songbook “Lei Nahonoapi’ilani,” will also be performed at the virtual concert.
The first album, “Lei Nahonoapi’ilani: Songs for West Maui,” is a finalist for this year’s Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Compilation Album of the Year.
The songbook and albums are available online at Kamehameha Publishing’s website at kpstore.deliveryhawaii.com/.
This episode of “Mele Huliamahi” is made possible by Kanaeokana and Kahuli Leo Le’a.
The project also received substantial support from the Hawaii Institute for Philippine Studies.
For viewing at a later date, the video will remain posted to Kanaeokana’s video archive on Facebook or at through song.org.
For more information and updates, visit, like and share facebook.com/kanaeokana, facebook.com/kahulileolea or facebook.com/leinahonoapiilani.