menuclose
Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Uwē Ka Lani, Ola Ka Honua

UWĒ KA LANI, OLA KA HONUA. #2888*
When the sky weeps, the earth lives.
When it rains the earth revives.

Uwē ka lani, when the heaven weeps; ola ka honua, the earth lives. This ʻōlelo noʻeau reminds us of the importance of wai (freshwater) in creating and sustaining life on earth. The word ola means to live, to thrive, to be vibrant; it also means health and healing, and so in this ʻōlelo noʻeau we remember that all of these things are made possible through wai, through our freshwater resources. 

In our mele (songs or chants), included below, we see and explore wai in its many forms. From the moisture gathering in our ʻōpua (billowy clouds) as they bring the ua (rain) toward our kuahiwi (mountain), to the wailele (waterfalls) that cascade down sending kahawai (streams) through our valleys, to the punawai (springs) that send fresh, clean water up from our aquifer that will allow us to inu wai (to drink water). In every step, we are reminded of our kuleana as kānaka to recognize, care for, and steward wai in all its forms. It, truly, is essential to life. 

We see this reflected in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) as well. Our word for wealth and riches, waiwai, emphasizes the root word, wai, demonstrating the importance of freshwater to the Hawaiian people. If you have water, you are wealthy and you have the opportunity to steward abundance. In addition, it is not uncommon to hear someone share their name as well as the names of the ʻāina (land) and wai in their area when introducing one’s self.

For example, “Aloha! ʻO wau ʻo Kamuela. He kama nō hoʻi wau a ka ʻāina kaulana ʻo Kailua nei, he ʻāina i hanai ʻia e ka wai momona o Kapunawaiolaokapalai.” 

[Aloha! I am Kamuela. I, indeed, am a child of these famous lands of Kailua, and (I was) raised, fed, and nourished by the abundant land and water of Kapunawaiolaokapalai (the healing, life-giving spring of Kapalai)].

It is understood that both land and water hānai (feed, raise, and shape) us and that oftentimes we begin to embody their same characteristics.

As we reflect on the importance of wai to our ʻāina and ourselves, let us also ponder ways we can better care for and steward this precious resource. 

Inquiry

  • Why is wai (freshwater) important? How does it feed, nourish, and sustain us as people? How does wai affect the health of ʻāina?
  • Where are the freshwater resources around you? What is your connection to them? Would you say the wai (streams, springs, etc.) in your area are healthy? Why or why not? 
  • How do you currently mālama (care for) our freshwater resources? 
  • What are practical ways we can better care for our freshwater resources? What might be the outcome of doing this?
  • How might caring for our wai bring a healthier balance and well-being for you? How about for your family or community?

Vocabulary

  • Lōkahi: unity, agreement, harmony
  • Uwē: To cry, weep
  • Lani: Sky,  heaven
  • Ola: Life, health, well-being; living; recovered; healed
  • Honua: Earth
  • : Sun
  • ʻŌpua: Puffy, billowy cloud
  • Ua: Rain
  • Kuahiwi: Mountain
  • Wailele: Waterfall
  • Kahawai: Stream
  • Punawai: Fresh water spring
  • Inu wai: To drink water
  • Kuleana: Responsibility, privilege, authority
  • Mālama: To care forKilo: To observe, watch closely

Mele

Mele Wai

Mele Wai Words

Lā, ʻŌpua, Lā

Lā, ʻŌpua, Ua, ʻŌpua, Lā

Lā, ʻŌpua, Ua, Kuahiwi, Ua ʻŌpua, Lā

Lā, ʻŌpua, Ua, Kuahiwi, Wailele, Kuahiwi, Ua ʻŌpua, Lā

Lā, ʻŌpua, Ua, Kuahiwi, Wailele, Kahawai, Wailele, Kuahiwi, Ua ʻŌpua, Lā

Lā, ʻŌpua, Ua, Kuahiwi, Wailele, Kahawai, Punawai, Kahawai, Wailele, Kuahiwi, Ua ʻŌpua, Lā

Lā, ʻŌpua, Ua, Kuahiwi, Wailele, Kahawai, Punawai, Inu wai, Kahawai, Wailele, Kuahiwi, Ua ʻŌpua, Lā

 

Hoʻokuaʻāina has not written and does not have the rights to this mele.

Mele Wai Vocabulary
  • : Sun
  • ʻŌpua: Puffy, billowy cloud
  • Ua: Rain
  • Kuahiwi: Mountain
  • Wailele: Waterfall
  • Kahawai: Stream
  • Punawai: Freshwater spring
  • Inu wai: To drink water

Hoʻokuaʻāina did not compose and do not have the rights to this mele.

Aia I Hea Ka Wai A Kāne?

Aia I Hea Ka Wai A Kāne? (Hawaiian)
He Mele no Kāne: (No Kaua‘i mai kēia mele) He ui, he nīnau: E ui aku ana au iā ‘oe, Aia i hea ka Wai a Kāne? Aia i ka hikina a ka Lā, Puka i Ha‘eha‘e, Aia i laila ka Wai a Kāne. E ui aku ana au iā ‘oe, Aia i hea ka Wai a Kāne? Aia i Kaulana a ka lā I ka pae ‘ōpua i ke kai, Ea mai ana ma Nihoa Ma ka mole mai ‘o Lehua Aia i laila ka Wai a Kāne. E ui aku ana au iā ‘oe, Aia i hea ka Wai a Kāne? Aia i ke kuahiwi, I ke kualono, I ke awāwa, I ke kahawai; Aia i laila ka Wai a Kāne. E ui aku ana au iā ‘oe, Aia i hea ka Wai a Kāne? Aia i kai, i ka moana, I ke Kualau, i ke ānuenue I ka pūnohu, i ka ua koko I ka ‘ālewalewa; Aia i laila ka Wai a Kāne. E ui aku ana au iā ‘oe, Aia i hea ka Wai a Kāne? Aia i luna ka Wai a Kāne. I ke ouli, i ke ao ‘ele‘ele, I ke ao panopano I ke ao pōpolo hua mea a Kāne la, e! Aia i laila ka Wai a Kāne. E ui aku ana au iā ‘oe, Aia i hea ka Wai a Kāne? Aia i lalo, i ka honua, i ka wai hū, I ka wai kau a Kāne me Kanaloa – He waipuna, he wai e inu, He wai e mana, he wai e ola, E ola nō, ea! Retrieved from Welina Mānoa website
Aia I Hea Ka Wai A Kāne? (English Translation)
The Water of Kāne: A query, a question, I put to you: Where is the water of Kāne? At the Eastern Gate Where the Sun comes in at Ha‘eha‘e There is the water of Kāne. A question I ask of you: Where is the water of Kāne? Out there with the floating Sun, Where the cloud-forms rest on Ocean’s breast, Uplifting their forms of Nihoa, This side the base of Lehua; There is the water of Kāne. One question I put to you: Where is the water of Kāne? Yonder on mountain peak, On the ridges steep, In the valleys deep, Where the rivers sweep: There is the water of Kāne This question I ask of you: Where, pray, is the water of Kāne? Yonder, at sea, on the ocean, In the driving rain, in the heavenly bow, In the piled-up mist wraith, in the blood-red rainfall In the ghost-pale cloud form; There is the water of Kāne. One question I put to you: Where, where is the water of Kāne? Up on high is the water of Kāne, In the heavenly blue, in the black piled cloud, In the black black cloud, In the black mottled sacred cloud of the gods; There is the water of Kāne. One question I ask of you: Where flows the water of Kāne? Deep in the ground, in the gushing spring, In the ducts of Kāne and Loa, A well spring of water, to quaff, A water of magic power – The water of life! Life! O give us this life! Retrieved from Welina Mānoa website

Oli – Aia I Hea Ka Wai a Kāne
Retrieved from Welina Mānoa website.**

Speaking – Aia I Hea Ka Wai a Kāne
Retrieved from Welina Mānoa website.**

Reflection Questions:

  • How do this mele help strengthen your understanding of the movement of wai (freshwater) in our islands?

Possible Extension Activities

Lōkahi Reflection
Reflect on the lōkahi triangle and your relationship with ke Akua, with ʻāina/kai, and with other kanaka. What are the areas where these connections are strong? Where can they be strengthened? Set some short term and long term goals. What can you do to strengthen each of these connections? Come with a plan and hold yourself accountable to these things, checking back and reflecting each week.
Kilo (Observations)
Using as many senses as possible, what do you notice about the freshwater in your area? Record these items in our Kilo Journal or in a notebook and track them over time.
  • When does it rain? What does the rain look, sound, smell, feel, and taste like? Are there different types of rains that I notice? What are their characteristics? Where and when do the clouds gather? Are there different types of clouds that come around at different times of the day or at different times of the year?
  • What do our streams, rivers, and springs look like? Do they change over time? What does the rain look, sound, smell, and feel like?
Hana Noiʻi - Wai (Research - Wai)
Learn the traditional names of the wai (clouds, rains, springs, streams, waterfalls, etc.) in your area. Why did our kupuna give them those names? What do those names teach us about the characteristics of those forms of wai? Use old maps to find the streams and springs in your area. If it is safe to do so, go and visit them. Are they healthy? Are they thriving? Why or why not? How can we tell? Are there things we can do to make them more healthy? If it is not safe to visit these areas, ask yourself why. What has happened to make it unsafe? Can or should this be changed? Do some research. Are there any freshwater-related environmental issues in your community (i.e. diverting water, fuel leaks, etc.) Contact your local government officials to share your concerns. For information relating to KAILUA, click here. Science: Study the water cycle and the ways you see it operating in your area. If you are able to go and visit different places (streams, springs, etc.), go and kilo (observe) at different times of the day or year. Take notes on what you see, smell, hear, feel, including things like water quality, turbidity, etc. Track these things throughout the year. English: Create poems or short stories about what you have learned about wai from your research, using traditional names and their characteristics. Write an argumentative essay about the importance of caring for and stewarding our freshwater resources. Social Studies: Use primary and secondary source documents to conduct research on the freshwater in your area. Reflection Questions
  • How do those activities strengthen your connection with wai?
  • How do these connections strengthen your overall health and the health of ʻāina?

*Pukui, M. K., & Varez, D. (1983). ʻŌlelo Noʻeau: Hawaiian Proverbs & poetical sayings. Honolulu, Hawai’i: Bishop Museum Press.

**Retrieved from Welina Mānoa website.

Content on this page was written and compiled by Danielle Espiritu, Education Specialist

Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Hoʻokuaʻāina is located in the ahupuaʻa of Kailua at Kapalai in Maunawili on the island of Oʻahu.

For more information about our programs or how you can get involved please contact us.

visit us

916E Auloa Rd.

Kailua, HI 96734

mail

P.O. Box 342146

Kailua, HI 96734

follow us

Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Hoʻokuaʻāina is located in the ahupuaʻa of Kailua at Kapalai in Maunawili on the island of Oʻahu.

For more information about our programs or how you can get involved please contact us.

visit us

916E Auloa Rd.

Kailua, HI 96734

mail us

P.O. Box 342146

Kailua, HI 96734

email us

Reach Us At:

info@hookuaaina.org

follow us

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Site By Created By Kaui

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Site By Created By Kaui

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy

Stay Connected.

Sign up below to get information delivered straight to your inbox. Never miss a Poi Production Day and stay in the know with the latest news, special promotions and ways to get involved with the Hoʻokuaʻāina community.
Email address
Interest
Please add michele@hookuaaina.org to your contact list!

Pin It on Pinterest