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Published Sources Detail

Hale Pulelehua
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Chant Name:
Click to hear the pronunciation
`Oaka Ka Lani (The heavens flash)

First Line :
Click to hear the pronunciation
Lapak ka wahine a`o Pele i Kahiki

Content Categories :
Ali`i (chiefs, chiefesses)
Aloha (love)
Holoholona (animals)
Mo`olelo (legends and myths)
N Akua (gods and goddesses)
P`ani (games, pastimes, sport)
Pele `Ohana (volcano goddess and family)
Wahi Pana (legendary places)

Chant Text (Hawaiian): Chant Text (English):
Lapak ka wahine a`o Pele i Kahiki

`Oaka ka lani noke n
`Oaka ka lani noke n

`Eli`eli kau mai
`Eli`eli kau mai

`Oaka ka lani noke n
`Oaka ka lani noke n

`h`h mai ana `o Pele
I ka lua a`o Halema`uma`u

`Oaka ka lani noke n
`Oaka ka lani noke n

E Pele
E Pele e

He inoa no Pele
The woman Pele abounds actively in Kahiki

The heavens flash on and on
The heavens flash on and on

May a deep respect come to us
May a deep respect come to us

The heavens flash on and on
The heavens flash on and on

The raging of Pele can be heard
In the pit of Halema`uma`u

The heavens flash on and on
The heavens flash on and on

O Pele
O Pele

In the name of Pele

Source of Chant & Translation:
Nona Beamer Collection

Published Research Sources: 

Unwritten Literature of Hawai`i (Emerson)
- Chapter XXIV is entitled "The Hula Pele" and although this chant isn't mentioned by name, the reader can get a sense of the scope of Pele chants and the nature of Pele herself.

Hula: Historical Perspectives (Barrere/Puku`i/Kelly)
- Chapter "Ancient Hulas of Kaua`i" is based on a program presented by Mary Kawena Puku`i and her Kumu Keahi Luahine Sylvester Gomes on January 31, 1936. Pages 79-80 note a "Lapak" chant with very similar words to the one listed above.

Hula Pahu volume 1 (Kaeppler)
- Page 224 notes that Kumu Hula Tom Hiona recorded a Pele chant in 1972 that appears to have been based on the "Lapak" chant in Puku`i's "Hula: Historical Perspectives" and a version given by Emma Fern and John Silva to Vivienne Mader in 1935.

Hawaiian Dictionary (Puku`i/Elbert)
- Definition #6 of "Pele" is "Volcano goddess." Definition #3 of "`oaka" is "to flash." A spelling variation is `owaka.

Hula Pahu volume 2 (Tatar)
- Pages 271 & 273 mention the "Lapak" chant documented in "Hula: Historical Perspectives." It differs from the one written up here. For Puku`i's Kaua`i version or Fern & Silva's Hawai`i version, look under Chant list for "Lapak Ka Wahine."

N Mele Hula volume 2 (Beamer)
- Pages 42-43 note Nona Beamer's recollections of seeing this chant performed by her aunt Harriet Magoon and later `Iolani Luahine who both "portrayed" Pele. The style she uses for this chant is "bombastic."

Additional Notes :
Please also consult Nathaniel Emerson's "Pele and Hi`iaka: A Myth from Hawai`i" book for in-depth research on Pele and her family.

This chant was taken along with "Aia L `o Pele" and put to music by Kumu Hula Mae Loebenstein. Look for it on a CD of musician Kawai Cockett under the name "Aia L `o Pele."

To find the particular "Lapak" chant mentioned numerous times in the "Published Sources", look for the chant titled "Lapak Ka Wahine" instead of this one "`Oaka Ka Lani."

Background on Chant :
This chant is in the general type or class of Hula Pele (dances for Pele) or Inoa no Pele (name chants for Pele). Please see "Published Sources" section above for greater detail on where to find documented research on this chant. The Mader Collection mentioned can be found in the Bishop Museum Archives.

Please also consult the "Kupuna" section at bottom to read and hear what our elders have to share.

View of Halema`uma`u, Pele's home
View of Halema`uma`u crater

Related Hula Types
Hula Pele (Dance for Pele and family)

Related Implements/Instruments

Related Küpuna
Beamer, Nona Kapuailohiamanonokalani Desha

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