Up until 1820, when
the missionaries first arrived, there was no written form of the
Hawaiian language. All history, stories of
creation, and family genealogy was passed on by means of mele oli
(chanting) and mele hula (dance).
Each generation learned
and memorized these stories, making the preservation of this knowledge a living art form.
Today's Hawaiian music is the
result of many influences: including original Hawaiian chants and mele,
European folk songs, himeni (hymns) from the missionaries, the
guitar from Mexican paniolo (cowboys), the `ukulele from the
Portuguese, big band music, Tahitian and Samoan music, rock and roll,
reggae (hence Jawaiian music), and hip hop.
||There are three
stories about how hula came into being.
The first is that Laka
(the God of the Forrest) created hula and that
(Pele's youngest and favorite sister) and Hōpoe
(Pele's best friend) were the first to perform it. Pele was the Goddess
The second story is that Hi`iaka
created the hula in Ha`ena, Kaua`i. And the
third is that
(another of Pele’s sisters) created the hula in Moloka`i.
unquestionably Hawai`i's most famous singer. His crystal clear voice and
childlike sense of humor have endeared him to all Hawaiians. And his
renditions of Over The Rainbow and What A Wonderful World have earned
him a name and respect around the world.
Iz left dis life in June of 1997, but his music will live forever.
White Sandy Beach
This traditional form of hula
began as chanting only,
then traditional instruments were added:
(drum) initially used only
in sacred hula temples, the
with a head on top), the
(split bamboo sticks), the pū`ili
(bamboo rattle), and the `ohe hano ihu (nose flute).
Ke`ali`i ipoipo Chant
||Slack-Key is a translation of kī hō`alu (loosen the key).
Slack-key tunings start with a normally-tuned guitar
"slacking" one or more strings to produce a single chord, often G major.
Daniel Ho "Lia"