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About Kai 'Opua → Culture

"Kona Kai Opua" by Henry Waiua

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This mele tells of a love affair between Liholiho (Kamehameha II) and a woman of rank. It sings of the places and activities of Kona and compares them to the deep emotions of love. Known as Kona of the tranquil seas, the opua or pink cumulus cloud formations that hang low, are regarded as omens of good fortune and good weather. Hinano is the blossom of the male pandanus tree and was used as an aphrodisiac. Na`u is a game of Kona where the children chant "na`u" and hold their breath until the sun disappears. Ho'olulu was an ancient chief of Kona.

Kalaninui Liholiho (Heaven's Great Glowing) was the child of Kamehameha I and Keopuolani, the most sacred and highest born of his wives. Trained to be king, he inherited the throne at an early age and co-ruled with Kaahumanu, the Kuhina Nui. Liholiho's third and favorite wife was Kamamalu, his half sister. Nov. 27, 1823, the King and Kamamalu boarded the English ship L'Aigle, the first of the Hawaiian Royals to travel abroad. This tragic state visit with King George of England was to gain political and commercial knowledge to better enable Liholiho to govern his kingdom that had attracted many foreigners. When the royal party arrived in England 6 months later, it was discovered that more that half of the $25,000 they carried had been stolen. Before they had an audience with the English Monarch, the Hawaiians were struck with measles. Queen Kamamalu died July 8, 1824 followed by the death of King Liholiho, July 14. Like all Hawaiians, they had no immunity to diseases.

Ha`aheo Hawai`i i na Kona
Ka wai kau i ka maka ka `öpua
Hualalai kau mai i luna
Ka heke ia o na Kona

He `äina wela i`o o na Kona
E ka makani ahe olu wai
`O ka pa konane ahe kehau
I ka ili o ka malihini
`O Kona kai `öpua i ka la`i
`O pua hinano i ka mâlie
Wai na lai
Ka mako a `öpua
`A`ole no ahe lua a`e like aku ia
Me Kona kai `öpua
Ke kai ma`oki`oki
Ke kai malino a`o Kona`
Kona kai `öpua i ka la`i
`O pua hinano i ka mälie
Holo na wai a ke kehau
Ke na`u wai la nä kamali`i
Käohi ana i ke kukuna lä
Ku`u la kolili i ka`ili kai
Pumehana wale ho`i ia `äina
Aloha no kini a`o Ho`olulu

`A`ohe lua ia `oe ke aloha
O ku`u puni o ka mea `owa
Ha`ina ka inoa o ku`u lani
No Liholiho no la inoa
Kahea: He Inoa No Liholiho
Proud is Kona of Hawaii
The waters and thick clouds
Hualalai, the majestic mountain is high above
Kona is the best
This warm land
With the refreshing wind
The bright moonlight that
Beckons the visitors
The cloud banks over Kona's peaceful sea
Like the hinano flower
In the peaceful sea
The cloudbanks of Kona
Are incomparable, second to none
The cloudbanks of Kona
The streaked sea
The peaceful sea of Kona
The cloud bank over Kona's peaceful sea
Like the hinano flower in the calm
Where dusk descends with evening dew
The na'u is chanted by the playful children
Hold back the rays of the sun
The sun rays reflecting on the surface of the sea
Very warm is the land
Very loving the Ho`olulu progeny
Nothing compares to the love
O my beloved companion of all time
For my lovely chief, my last refrain
Liholiho, I praise your name
Call: The Name Of Liholiho


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