‘Mele on the Move’ plans to bring Hawaiian music to homesteads

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Next year will be the 100th year of Hawaiian homestead lands after it was established by Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole.

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To help bring awareness and celebrate, Hawaiian music is going mobile–literally.

The Hawaiian Music Perpetuation Society launched its “Mele on the Move” project, which is a mobile-concert that will bring the beautiful sounds of Hawaiian music to the Aina Hoopulapula, or Hawaiian homesteads, here on Oahu.

“The Hawaiian Music Perpetuation Society is to raise the consciousness of Hawaii through the mele because everything that people want to know about Hawaii is written in poetry,” said Hawaiian Music Perpetuation Society Executive Director Kuuipo Kumukahi. “So in doing so, this is a wonderful time to just start it because to bring it to our aina hoopulapula, because everybody, the kupuna have been home through this COVID.”

Mele on the Move started with Waimanalo last Sunday and will be making its way through all the homestead on island within the next four Sundays between 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Waianae is next.

“I have never heard of someone doing this type of program, but I took my cue from remembering stories about older kupuna who were politicians who went campaigning on the back of a truck playing their guitar or their ukulele and singing Hawaiian songs,” said Kumukahi “So I took my cue from that and said let’s just do it.”

Mele, or song, is a means of documentation. It describes our land, our people, our natural resources and more.  

“I work at Pualeilani, where Prince Kuhio lived, as the Director of Hawaiian Culture and Community Relations, and I tell visitors, ‘You want to know anything about Hawaii, look at the mele,” said Kumukahi. “Don’t look at the brochure because this is the brochure.”

Prince Kuhio, who was Hawaii’s second delegate to U.S. Congress, advocated for the passage to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act in 1921.

The first homestead settled was Kalamaula on Molokai.

For more information on Mele on the Move, including its schedule and routes, visit the Hawaiian Music Perpetuation Society Facebook page.

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