New Hawaiian Compilation Album Chronicles Aloha ‘Āina Legal Battles Through Song

August 26, 2020, 5:35 PM HST (Updated September 8, 2020, 3:22 PM)
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Telling today’s stories of land and natural resource disputes and victories through crafted songwriting, “Huliāmahi Volume 1” honors ʻāina in Hawai‘i with legal and political undertones.

“How many books have you memorized?” asked 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 Huliāmahi,” the free, virtual concert produced by Kanaeokana and Kāhuli Leo Leʻa, coincides with the release of the album, “Huliāmahi Volume 1,” and will air on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. on Facebook Live.

It will feature Cody Pueo Pata, Zachary & Nicholas Lum, Frank Kaʻiuokalani Damas, Zachary Lorenzo, Poʻokela Wood, Kaulike Pescaia, Kamalei Kawa‘a, Jeff Au Hoy, and ‘Ahumanu.

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“Ultimately, the goal is aloha ʻāina, that is, to actively maintain (and sometimes restore) the balance between environment and people – between ʻāina and Kānaka,” explains the liner notes written by Zachary Lum and Uʻilani Tanigawa Lum. “These stories of aloha ʻāina are forever captured in these mele. As a cultural practice, however, mele are the tools that continue to support worthy causes, reinvigorate ʻāina, and strengthen community pilina. As we hear, enjoy, and eventually sing these mele, they become acts of aloha ʻāina – reminders of our role and potential, as Kānaka, in this ʻāina ecosystem.”

“Huliāmahi is to act in unison and in great numbers,” they continued. “Whether to prepare fields of loʻi kalo or to protect sacred places, there is great significance and power in the value of huliāmahi. As we huliāmahi, we gather, we organize, and we cooperate toward a unified goal. The laws of Hawaiʻi are unique. One may find it surprising that so many of Hawaiʻi’s laws are grounded in Kānaka Maoli customs, practices, and worldviews. In the stories presented herein, these laws are tools of aloha ʻāina – legal advocacy for the rights of ʻāina and the Kānaka that continue to live by its values.”

The project recognizes the daily increase in COVID-19 cases in Hawai‘i and continues to utilize technology to launch this release. Viewers will be able to enjoy the mele and learn the stories behind them from the comfort and safety of their home. Co-hosting the concert is kumu hula, performing artists, and features haku mele (songwriter), Cody Pueo Pata, and Maui attorney, Lance D. Collins.

“Huliāmahi Volume 1”, is available for purchase at mele.com. The tracklist (with haku mele in parentheses, followed by recording artists) is as follows:

  • Ahulau ka Piʻipiʻi i Kakanilua (Kaʻiuokalani Damas & Keely Rivera) – Kaʻiuokalani Damas
  • Nā Kama Pūkoʻa Kani ʻĀina (Uʻilani Tanigawa Lum) – Taisamasama Kaʻiminaʻauao-Eteuati & Puʻuwai Tollefson-Kelly
  • Pūkuʻilua (Kaʻiuokalani Damas & Keely Rivera) – Zachary Lorenzo
  • Ka Nani aʻo Pālāwai (ʻĀnela Evans) – Max Angel Becerra
  • Kalihi Uka (Lance D. Collins) – Poʻokela Wood
  • A Paeahu Au (Nicholas Kealiʻi Lum) – Nicholas Kealiʻi Lum
  • Kaluāhole (Nicholas Kealiʻi Lum) – Jeff Au Hoy
  • Mākena (Jonah Kahanuola Solatorio) – Jonah Kahanuola Solatorio
  • He Inoa no Paeahu (Cody Pueo Pata) – Cody Pueo Pata
  • Aloha Kakanilua (Lindsey Ching & Kaniloa Kamaunu) – Kaniloa Kamaunu
  • He Aloha ē ka Pua aʻo ke Kō (Zachary Alakaʻi Lum) – Zachary Alakaʻi Lum
  • Mālama Kakanilua (Kaʻiuokalani Damas & Keely Rivera) – Kaʻiuokalani Damas
  • Aia i Waiʻoli ke Aloha ʻĀina (Uʻilani Tanigawa Lum) – Kainaniokalihiwai Kahaunaele

Proceeds from the sale of “Huliāmahi Volume 1” will benefit the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation.

Several songs from the newly released, “Lei Nāhonoapi‘ilani: Nā Mele Hou,” the second companion album to the songbook, Lei Nāhonoapiʻilani, will also be performed at the virtual concert. The first album, “Lei Nāhonoapi‘ilani: Songs for West Maui,” is a finalist for this year’s Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for Compilation Album of the Year.

The songbook and albums are available online at Kamehameha Publishing’s website – kpstore.deliveryhawaii.com/.

This episode of “Mele Huliāmahi” is made possible by Kanaeokana and Kāhuli Leo Le‘a. The project also received substantial support from the Hawaiʻi Institute for Philippine Studies. For viewing at a later date, the video will remain posted to Kanaeokana’s video archive on Facebook or at kahulileolea.org.

For more information and updates, visit the following Facebook addresses:

  • facebook.com/kanaeokana
  • facebook.com/kahulileolea
  • facebook.com/leinahonoapiilani

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