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Moʻolelo Monday

Moʻolelo Monday

On the first Monday of the month a traditional or modern moʻolelo depicting the culture, values, language or traditions of Hawaiʻi, will be shared through a virtual platform. These mo‘olelo promote literacy within the classroom and home, and encourage ʻohana to read and learn together. Moʻolelo are shared by staff and guest storytellers.


In the 1820’s, Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III was the catalyst for the rise of literacy in Hawaiʻi. He stated, “ ʻO Koʻu Aupuni, he Aupuni palapala koʻu.  My kingdom shall be a kingdom of literacy”. Within our moʻokalaleo, we share a literacy component that extends our moʻolelo journey. 

Hanohano Kahakuloa

Student Reader

To enter the village of Kahakuloa on the north side of Maui, one quickly realizes this is not a tourist destination. Arriving at the last curve means you slowed down many miles before, sometimes holding your breath and maybe gripping the seat, maybe even reversing to let the oncoming vehicle pass on the narrow road with no guard rails.

Let your breath out slowly and breathe in ancient Hawaiʻi. Listen for the ancestors, feel the soft air, imagine who came before. Breathe silently, wait for the moʻolelo to reveal its story. Can you see life in the old days, the people working, playing? Can you imagine what the ahupuaʻa looked like? Can you see the loʻi kalo growing everywhere?

Legend has it that Hina, the goddess of the moon, gave birth to her son Maui (this island). It was a difficult birth and Puʻu Koaʻe is the afterbirth of that hard birthing. Do you see Kahekili, the moʻi of Maui, diving off Puʻu Koa‘e wearing his feather cape, arms outstretched, gliding toward the water 200 feet below? Can you imagine the puhi (eel) kidnapping the little sister of a young boy and taking her to his cave located underwater below Puʻu Koaʻe, causing the brother to frantically beg each sea creature to help him rescue her? Only one sea creature was brave enough to help. Some of those sea creatures even go upstream in Kahakuloa River.

Join us in this moʻolelo huakaʻi to explore the clues of the past to see how they can be our guides today.

(Puʻu Koaʻe moʻolelo as told to George Kahumoku by his mentor Aunty Irmgard Farden Aluli.)






Lelekamanu Program


Photographs in reader and video courtesty of
Bruce Forrester and Cassie Pali.
Moʻo ʻŌlelo

Weekly, a Mo‘o ‘Ōlelo, a succession of Hawaiian words or phrases will be shared.  The mana‘o behind each word or phrase relates to the mo‘olelo being presented.  This component will enhance cultural awareness and knowledge through Hawaiian language.

ʻŌlelo Noeʻau # 624: I am a small hala fruit of Keaʻau, but there is no rock hard enough to smash me. I am small, perhaps, but mighty
Literally, are you lacking help? Figurative way of saying “Do you need help?” I ke mele, nele i ke keikikane i kokua e hoʻopakale i kona kaikuahine. In the mele, the boy is lacking help to rescue his sister.
Who has it? Temporary possession A way of asking who is in possession of something or someone. The boy asks in the mele, “Aia iā wai, Aia ia puhi”; asking who has my sister? With the eel.
Donʻt be Afraid, just chance ʻum ʻĪ mai ka ʻopihi i ke keikikane, “mai makaʻu, naʻu e pani i ka maka e ʻike ʻole i kēlā puhi” Said the ʻopihi to the boy, donʻt be afraid, it is I who will block the eyes of that eel so he cannot see.
No task is too big when done together! I ke mele, ua noi ʻia ke kokua e ke keikikane e hoʻopakele i kona kaikuahine. ʻAʻohe hana nui ke alu ʻia! In the mele, the boy recognizes that he needs help to rescue his sister and therefore asks for help. No task is too great when done together!